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Full text of "Report of the Sanitary Commission of New Orleans on the epidemic yellow fever of 1853 : published by authority of the City Council of New Orleans"

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Gentlemen : 

You will be pleased to accept herewith a Report embodying the 
results of the labors of the Sanitary Commission, upon the special 
and various matters committed to their charge by the Council. The 
delay in presenting it, is ascribable almost entirely to the comprehen- 
siveness and thoroughness aimed at, in gathering from all sources of 
sanitary intelligence, here and elsewhere, the facts and phenomena 
deemed useful in tracing and attesting the origin and causes — the atinos- 
ic and terrene conditions — the transmission — duration and expulsion 
of that formidable disease — the yellow fever. No opportunity has been 
slighted — no toils have been spared to push our explorings and researches 
throughout the vast realms of the yellow fever zone, in both South and 
North America, and the West Indies, and the voluminous sanitary data 
prefixed to our Report, are our vouchers for the magnitude and extent 
of our labors. Even since our Report has gone to press — most valuable 
accessions, in response to our circulars, have been received from abroad ; 
and we are still farther assured of valuable testimony on the way to us 
from distant fever regions worthy of all consideration and respect. 


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Gentlemen : 

You will be pleased to accept herewith a Report embodying the 
results of the labors of the Sanitary Commission, upon the special 
and various matters committed to their charge by the Council. The 
delay in presenting it, is ascribable almost entirely to the comprehen- 
siveness and thoroughness aimed at, in gathering from all sources of 
sanitary intelligence, here and elsewhere, the facts and phenomena 
deemed useful in tracing and attesting the origin and causes — the atmos- 
pheric and terrene conditions — the transmission — duration and expulsion 
of that formidable disease — the yellow fever. No opportunity has been 
slighted — no toils have been spared to push our explorings and researches 
throughout the vast realms of the yellow fever zone, in both South and 
North America, and the West Indies, and the voluminous sanitary data 
prefixed to our Report, are our vouchers for the magnitude and extent 
of our labors. Even since our Report has gone to press — most valuable 
isiona, in response to our circulars, have been received from abroad; 
and we are still farther assured of valuable testimony on the way to us 
from distant fever regions worthy of all consideration and respect. 


Out of these data, together with the experience of many years, have 
grown the materials which form the opinions and principles put forth in 
the Report, as to the origin and causes of yellow fever, of which no more 
may be said at present, than that two of these principles will be found 
of inestimable value after experiment and experience shall have fully 
tested their soundness and infallibility. 

The one is that yellow fever is and always has been, here and elsewhere 
a, preventable disease, and 

The other is, that the presence of two general hygienic conditions are 
absolutely indispensible to the origination and transmission of the disease 
— the one of them, atmospheric — the other terrene. These must meet 
in combination, or there will be no result. The absence of one, as to this 
disease, is as the absence of both, and as one of these conditions is almost 
wholly within the control of man and the other partially so, it must fol- 
low that his power extends to its prevention and expulsion.. 

These two principles constitute the bases of all the preventive and 
remedial measures with which the Report closes, and which were specially 
devised for practical execution through the minstrations of the city 

Throughout the several Reports we have constantly endeavored to avoid 
speculative opinions — to adapt all our principles and suggestions to prac- 
tical ends, having the great object of our appointment — utility to our 
stricken city — ever before our eyes — as a polar star for our guidance. 

With the presentation of this Report, the authority of the commission 
ceases. Its labors and its functions end together, yet its members cannot 
part with the voluminous record of their toils, without an expression of 
their entire and unwavering confidence, that, if the preventive and reme- 
dial measures they have recommended, shall be fully carried out, rigidly 
enforced and perseveringly maintained by the city authorities — it would 
be altogether impossible, for the yellow fever to originate here, or to be 
disseminated as an epidemic, if brought from abr< 




During our late great epidemic, the subject of the sanitary condition 
of our city became a theme of deep concern and anxious scrutiny. The 
great malignity of the fever — its unparalleled spread, visiting places here- 
tofore exempt from its ravages, all tended to arouse public attention, 
and the conclusion was at an early period arrived at, that the subject 

merited the most thorough and careful investigation.. Prior to this 
period the sanitary condition of the city had not received the atten- 
tion its great importance required. We have had occasional Boards 
of Health, whose existence continued two or three years, with large 
intervals intervening, and being mere boards of record with little 
authority or means, but partial benefits resulted from them. Divers 
opinions had been expressed in the city journals with regard to the salu- 
brity of the city. The public had been pretty steadily assured, by the 
authorities and others, that *' the city was one of the healthiest in the 
Union, although subject to occasional epidemics. " Confiding in these 
assurances, the great mass of the citizens took little part in the subject, 
being quieted and lulled into security by these representations. Our 
reputation abroad, however, from occasional exposures by Boards of 
Health and other sources, and above all, the great calamity of 1853, fully 
aroused the public, and induced the determination to look thoroughly 
into the subject, and through the urgent promptings of public senti- 
ment, the Board of Health, (the only body then acting that had the power 
— the City Council having adjourned for the summer,) appointed the 
Hon. A. D. Crossman, Mayor of the city ; Drs. E. H. Barton, A. F. Axson, 


S. D. McNeil, J. C. Simonds, J. L. Riddell, to constitute a Sanitary Com- 

To this Commission were deputed special instructions for inquiry and 
investigation, viz : 

1st. — To inquire into the origin and mode of transmission or propa- 
gation of the late epidemic yellow fever. 

2d. — To inquire into the subject of sewerage and common drains, their 
adaptability to the situation of our city, and their influence on health. 

3d. — To inquire into the subject of quarantine, its uses and applica- 
bility here, and its influence in protecting the city from epidemic and 
contagious maladies, and 

4th. — To make a thorough examination into the sanitary condition of 
the city, into all causes influencing it, in present and previous years and 
to suggest the requisite sanitary measures to remove or prevent them and 
into the causes of yellow fever in ports and other localities having inter- 
course with New Orleans. 

The Commission immediately organized and proceeded with due dili- 
gence to the fulfillment of the important task confided to it. It issued 
circulars embracing all the points suggested for examination, and distri- 
buted them among the medical faculty and citizens here and the adjoin- 
ing States, and to every quarter of the yellow fever region, whence infor- 
mation could be expected to enlighten its judgment on the subjects to 
be considered. It sat as a Court of Inquiry in this city daily for about 
three months, eliciting and inviting information from every accessible 

When this field had been sufficiently explored, it deputed its various 
members to visit different parts of this and the adjoining States where 
the epidemic had existed, to institute inquiries upon like matters and 
report upon them. One member was sent to visit the various Eastern 
cities, to obtain information of their sanitary condition, ordinances and 
usages. He was likewise instructed to visit Washington, to apply to the 
Government of the United States for aid in obtaining through our Diplo- 
matic and Consular agencies throughout the yellow fever zone, whatever 
information our circulars called for, or that would advance the cause we 
were engaged in. 

The readine&a and courtesy shown by the Government of the United 


Stales, the efficient aid and co-operation of the medical profession, and 
others here and elsewhere, the intelligence and readiness manifested by 
those gentlemen to whom our circulars were addressed, are sources of 
gratification to the members of the Commission, and it is our desire to 
state emphatically, that although much diversity of opinion existed, not 
only in the profession, but among others, whose evidence we have pro- 
cured, from nearly every part of the yellow fever zone, as at present exist- 
ing — we have conceived it our duty to receive and promulge them, and 
let the public judge of the propriety of the deductions drawn from them. 
The ample success which has followed our efforts to procure information is 
attested in the evidence and documents accompanying this. The reports on 
the subjects presented to our consideration, must speak for themselves, they 
are all herewith presented to the Mayor, City Council and the public, and 
we tender our kindest acknowledgments to the Secretary of State, (Mr. 
Marcy,) for the facilities he has furnished us in acquiring most valuable in- 
formation from abroad from the highest and most valuable sources ; and 

To Mr. R. G. Scott, U. S. Consul, and Drs. Pennell, Lallement and 
Candido, at Rio Janeiro ; Mr. W. Lilley, U. S. Consul, at Pernambuco ; 
Mr. J. Graham, U. S. Consul, and Dr. H. W. Kennedy, at Buenos Ayres ; 
Dr. W. Jamieson, at Guayaquil ; Mr. S. Grinalds and Dr. Lacomb, at 
Puerto Cabello ; Mr. N. Towner, U. S. Consul, and Dr. J. W. Sinckler, 
at Barbadoes; Drs. Amic and Chapuis, at Martinique; Mr. J. Helm, U. 
S. Consul, and Dr. Pretto, at St. Thomas ; Dr. W. Humboldt, at Mexico ; 
Mr. J. W. Dirgan, U. S. Consul, and Dr. Lafon, at Matamoras; and Mr. 
Pickett, U. S. Consul at Vera Cruz ; and J. W. Dana, U. S. Consul at 
Lucre, Bolivia. 

The duty of investigating the various subjects referred to this commis- 
sion under the instructions has been duly distributed among the different 
members — to Drs. Axson and McNeil, the first ; to Dr. Riddell, the second ; 
to Dr. Simonds, the third ; and to Dr. Barton, the fourth. 


The Sanitary Commission, in fulfillment of the important trust 
confided to it, has deemed it one of its most urgent duties thoroughly 
to examine into the past state of the health of the city, so far as records 
could be procured to attest it. These have extended beyond half a 
century — although the records of many of the years have been 
sparse and imperfect. With occasional exceptions the results have 
proved very unfavorable to its health in the past; yet, as sanitary 
guides and beacons, they are regarded as full of promise for the future. 

There must exist some cause for the great insalubrity shown in the 
mortuary returns. It certainly does not arise from its cleanliness and 
the absence of those sources productive of disease in every country. 
Then it must derive its origin from those conditions in which it 
differs from other places that are healthy. It must proceed from 
those circumstances which the uniform experience of mankind has 
found to be the cause of insalubrity elsewhere. Or shall we abandon 
as useless, all the dear bought experience of our race, and remain as 
we are despite our recent severe and bitter afflictions 1 Are we forever 
to turn our face upon the past, and to be made no wiser by its valuable 
teachings 1 The problem thus presented to us to solve is not a new 
one; it has been solved a thousand times before; we give it again, 
with the special experience derived from our locality and circum- 
stances, and with the same uniform results. 

The value of general hygienic regulations has been extensively com- 
mented upon in a subsequent report ; that of personal hygiene is 
hardly less important; upon this depends mainly not only our per- 
sonal comfort, but health ; and it is in many cases the only substiute for 
sanitary regulations of a more general nature, affecting the entire 
community ; and is of special value to us here where the latter have 
been so much neglected. That they are more appreciated than for- 
merly, is shown by the remarkable fact that about half a century 


ago leprosy existed to such an extent in New Orleans, that it was 
deemed necessary to erect a hospital for its special treatment, (a quan- 
tity of land in the rear of the city having been appropriated for the pur- 
pose,) and there are still surviving among us those who have a lively 
recollection of that loathsome malady. It too, has yielded to the 
ameliorating hand of civilization and modern comfort, or climatic 
changes, and is now confined to the inferior grades of society in Cuba 
and Mexico. When the general principles of hygiene shall have been 
as widely extended over the city, our epidemic and endemic fevers 
will in like manner disappear, and we may again enjoy that salubrity 
which was once our wont. 

The causes of this insalubrity have been most carefully scrutinized, 
and it is our deliberate conviction that they are fairly ascribable to 
local conditions which are mainly removable. A reference to some 
of them here, the principles applicable to them, and the recommenda- 
tion for their removal or abatement, will not be inapplicable in antci- 
pation of the Reports themselves. 

Throughout the vast period to which this investigation has ex- 
tended, commencing when the population did not exceed 8,756, (in 
1796,) no epidemic has occurred that has not been preceded and accom- 
panied by a great disturbance of the original soil of the country, (in 
digging and clearing out canals, basins, &c.,) although other local 
causes doubtless had their influence. This has been so unequivocal 
and so constant, and without exception, that it seems to the Com- 
mission to bear the relation of cause and effect. The proofs of it. 
are furnished in the following pages, and might have been greatly ex- 
tended in its moi'e local influences. This disturbance seems to have 
generally taken place with great recklessness, manifestly preferring 
for the purpose the warm season, during which it is most dangerous. 

We have to make the same remark in relation to the clearing and 
draining the neighboring swamps, both of vast public utility, and 
when done in a suitable season and proper manner, under enlightened 
advisement, not injurious to the public health ; but most disastrous, 
when these are not faithfully observed, as medical annals for hun- 
dreds of years past fully attest. 

The numerous undrained, unfilled lots and squares dotting the 


surface of the city, becoming muddy pools in the rainy, -which is 
always the sickly season, and common receptacles for filth and 
garbage of all kinds, are exhibited in our sanitary map, and should 
be early abated. 

The numerous low, crowded and filthy tenements, many of -which 
are also indicated on the map, are probably as disastrous in the pro- 
duction of yellow fever as any other ; they are common "fever nests," 
and are denominated "nuisances'" of the deepest dye. They con- 
stitute the ordinary hotbeds of disease and death at every epidemic 
period, (yellow fever, cholera or what-not.) They have been signalized 
by a most fearful mortality. They conduce much to impair the repu- 
tation of the city for salubrity and they demand therefore the firm 
cauterizing appliances of the city government. 

The extensive livery stables in the heart of the city, and vacheries 
near the thickly populated districts, and the vicinage of slaughter 
houses should be abated, as they strongly tend to impair the purity 
of the city atmosphere. 

The present cemeteries within the city limits should by all means 
be closed against future use. 

The kitchen offal and back yard filth, including the bad system and 
neglect of the privies, constitute some of the greatest sources of vi- 
tiated air, and require the most active agency and timely surveillance 
of the Health Department. 

The system of sewerage set forth in the second repot is confidently 
recommended as well for its economy as its promised efficacy. 

The present mode of cleansing the streets is most defective; the 
time is inappropriate. It should be done, at least during hot weather, 
when the sun is no longer present to distil the poison into the atmos- 
phere. The carts should in all cases immediately follow the scraper 
and remove the gathered garbage, in covered carts, and that taken 
from under the bridges should never be spread upon the streets. It 
had better lie left where it is, protected from the sun. 

None but the most superficial disturbance of the soil, or cleaning 
out of canals and basins, should be permitted during the hot reason. 

The bank of the river, the levee, wh rvesj and filth from the ship- 
ping, require a special police; they eonstitue same of the most preg- 
nant sources of disease. 


The effect of these various nuisances and others on the disastrous fever 
of last year, is fully set forth on the sanitary map with its accompanying 

After the ample detail of local causes for our summer and tall fevers 
under a high temperature and the great humidity incidental to our posi- 
tion, it is scarcely necessary to say that we have a sufficiency of them, with- 
out looking abroad for the sources of our insalubrity. Nevertheless, m 
relation to the subject of Quarantine, although the Commission is unan- 
imous in the belief that no system, however rigid or successfully carried 
out, can ever be a substitute for the sanitary or preventive measures we 
have recommended, and which if properly enforced, would be at once a 
protection against both the origination and spread of yellow fever and 
cholera among us, yet in the imperfection that must attach to all such 
measures, we unite in recommending the establishment of a quarantine 
station below the city, under the surveillance and control of the " Health 
Department, " thereby preventing all foul vessels from entering the port 
with diseased passengers or crew, placing the restriction only where it is a 
measure of safety, and furnishing character and security abroad to our 
intercourse with other nations. 

We are sensible there is great difference of opinion among the mem- 
bers of the profession and in the community in relation to the communi- 
cability of yellow fever, and have investigated the subject with great care 
in the following pages ; and the conclusion we have come to, is that yel- 
low fever is not a disease personally contagious, that its infectious pro- 
perties are only communicable in a foul or infectious atmosphere ; that is, 
that a foul vessel or individual with the disease, will only propagate it, 
under atmospherical and local conditions similar to that which furnished 
its nativity. That although vitiated or infectious air may be conveyed in 
goods and in various ways to distant places, ventilation speedily dissipates 
it, and that if disease results, when it is much concentrated, or with very 
susceptible individuals, it extends no farther, except under the conditions 
above specified. The occurrences of the last season, and we believe, all 
antecedent years, supply us with innumerable illustrations in the estab- 
lishment and corroboration of these important principles. 

But farther tha>n this, the Commission has not remained satisfied with 
theoretical presumptive evidences, Most careful scrutiny into ths 


actual occurrences of the first eruption of the fever, its spread, the char- 
acter of its localizations, the persons most liable and suffering from what- 
ever class and country, have converted presumptive proof* into positive 
certainty, that the fever originated with us, that its fatal malignity and 
spread was justly attributable to a very remarkable concurrence and 
combination of atmospheric and terrene causes, always peculiarly fatal to 
human health and life. These have been most amply examined and fully 
pointed out, and the gratifying fact is shown, that at least one of these 
causes is entirely under our control, and that it is in our power greatly 
to diminish the other, and hence by disseverance, the fatal union is pre- 

The Commission has taken great pains to investigate the climatic con- 
dition, to which our latitude and position peculiarly expose us, so far 
back as meteorological records would permit. It is impossible to over- 
look the fact that the meteorology of a place, is, in other words, its cli- 
mate, and upon this mainly depends the character of its diseases, for these 
special liabilities are dependant upon conditions which constitute the 
difference between one climate and another. Were it otherwise all climates 
would have similar diseases, nor would varieties of season alter them. 
We have become impressed with the conviction, that much error has 
existed on the subject, and that the evils incident to our location can be 
greatly ameliorated. It may be probably premature at this early day of 
the practical application of meteorology to etiology, to venture into much 
very precise detail, with regard to the elements essential to the ex- 
istence of the two great scourges of our city, (yellow fever and cholera.) 
But in the infancy of meteorological inquiry, as at all beginnings, there 
must be a starting point. The testimony we offer to the scientific public, 
is submitted with great diffidence, but as pioneers, we make our humble 
offering at the shrine of science, to be corroborated or refuted by subse- 
quent observations. If true, we cannot over value their importance, if 
not, the experiments to disprove them will lead to valuable results. 

We have essayed to show what are the precise meteorological or 
climatic elements, necessary for the existence not only of epidemic 
yellow fever, but of cholera ; that is, to show what are the meteoro- 

* Tho un lersigned members of the Sanitary Commission, dissent from this assertion denvin* 
the positive cern.inry alledged. J. l. RIDDRLL 

j! c. simonds' 



logical conditions under which they prevail, at each stage of their 
commencement, progress, maximum intensity and declination. The dif- 
ference in the combination productive of yellow fever and cholera 
may be comparatively small, although the effects are so different, nor 
is this very uncommon or wanting in illustration in various depart- 
ments of science or medicine. A change of wind, with a differ- 
ence of five or ten degrees of temperature may produce the most 
fatal pleurisy, pneumonia or laryngitis. So, the same apparent con- 
dition produces a great diversity of effects on individuals of different 
physical susceptibilities, and a difference of one or two grains of 
moisture in a cubic foot of the air we breathe may, and often does 
result in the occurrence ot the most fatal maladies. 

The results we have come to, after a careful analysis of the records 
in this climate, at least, during the several years through which 
these are reliable, (and they have been made with greatjninuteness 
during the last twenty-one years, and corroborated as far as they go 
by those of every epidemic yellow fever and cholera that has ex- 
isted in this country, of which thi:re are any records; the more special 
details embracing nine epidemics of yellow fever and six of cholera,) 
are embraced in the following table. 

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This table shows what an examination of the details of which it 
is but the concentrated result would more than justify ; viz : 

1.— What are the several meteorological conditions of yellow fever 
and cholera at the commencement, maximum intensity and declination 
of these two diseases when existing in their epidemic grades. 

2.— In comparison, it shows that cholera exists in a greater range 
of temperature and humidity than yellow fever. 

3.— That these diversities constitute the pabulum for its support, 
so far as the mere climatic condition is concerned. 

4.— That a higher solar radiation and atmospheric pressure exists 
during yellow fever periods than during cholera. Although the at- 
mospheric pressure under which these two diseases prevail are shown 
by this average table to be about the same, the barometer continuing at 
a permanently higher grade, more regularly and constantly in yellow 
fever than in cholera, yet in this latter the fluctuations are much 
greater ; indeed, it is so under all its climatic relations, as is abun- 
dantly shown in the large detailed table too extensive for this sum- 
mary, of which this is a very condensed abstract. 

5. — That for the existence of yellow fever a higher range of tem- 
perature and of dew point for its commencement and maximum inten- 
sity, and that a declension of the former (temp.) to less than 70°, and 
the latter (dew point) to near 60° puts a speedy end to its epidemic 

6. — That a larger quantity of rain usually falls, on an average, 
during the existence of yellow fever than during cholera. 

7. — The " drying power" is more variable during cholera than 
during yellow fever. 

8. — The average duration of epidemic yellow fever has been 58.33 
days, and the period of its influence decreasing, while the average 
duration of cholera has been 37.66 days, and the period increasing. 

These experiments are fully borne out by what we see daily verified 
of the ravages of these two very different diseases in the various cli- 
mates that have been subject to them. 

If subsequent observations shall prove the correctness of these 
statements, the future occurrence and continuance of epidemic yellow 
fever will be ascertained with great probability by referring to a well 


kept meteorological register ; it will show what valuable information 
is to be derived from connecting accurate and extensive meteorolog- 
ical experiments with the Health Department, recommended in a sub- 
sequent report. 

There are but two practical remarks which we deem it necessary to 
draw from this table, and from the reasoning in the reports : the first is, 
that although it is easier to keep free of yellow fever than of cholera, 
we can exercise much influence on the causation of both, even in their 
climatic relations; and secondly, the combination of the terrene and 
meteorological conditions which is absolutely essential to the existence 
of either, we certainly have it in our power greatly to control, be- 
cause, by proper policeing and regard to other hygienic measures, that 
condition is clearly under our influence. 

If then, we have demonstrated, as we trust we have, in the subse- 
quent pages, these important truths, and shown what are the meteor- 
ological elements necessary for the existence of epidemic yellow fever, 
and even of cholera, and pointed out the conditions in which they de- 
cline, its great value will be appreciated, not only by the scientific 
public, but far beyond this, its importance for the practical purposes 
of life will he inestimable. The ability to make the announcement that an 
epidemic exists ; and again, that it suspends its ravages, and that all 
danger is over ; in the first case warning the accessible population to 
speed to a place of safety, and in the second enabling us to invite 
back the flying citizens to their deserted homes; to open the public 
thoroughfares to the resumption of business, and the ordinary purpo- 
ses and pursuits of life, will be of incalculable practical value to the 
community. This principle is held forth for our guidance throughout 
our report ; nay, it is the basis on which is founded, the object 
sought — prevention, saving the community from the infliction of dis- 

We state these as the result of our experience in this climate, and 
let us be understood to mean that by the meteorological elements of 
these diseases, (consisting of a very high range of temperature and 
saturation, and great solar radiation,) we intend to express the limits 
within which they have prevailed here epidemically, which are essential 
to their existence as such, and beyond which they soon cease. Now 
whether these views will be borne out elsewhere, we believe there is as 


yet, no recorded (certainly no published) statements to snow. We are 
perfectly sensible that climatic conditions and national susceptibilities 
differ in different countries, and produce often diversified results, 
and that cholera has prevailed in great apparent diversity of 
climates, and that the meteorological elements would seem not 
to apply to it. Statements are recorded of the prevalence 
of cholera when the exposed thermometer was near zero — this is not 
at all incompatible with an inside temperature of between 70° and 80°, 
with filth, the peculiarly noxious effect of crowding and most defective 
ventilation, (and of course, a high dew point,) all of which, we know, 
exists in Russian dwellings, where this disease prevailed. The incon- 
gruity then no longer exists, for it is the condition to which the in- 
dividual is exposed that is to be estimated. Nevertheless, we acknowl- 
edge that it will take time, observation and experiment in different 
climates to show where and what may be the variations, if any, from 
the views laid down. There is little doubt, however, that if they are 
not precisely the same elementary or atomic (if we can use the ex- 
pression) combination, yet the principle is the same; to-wit : — 
a union of meteorological and terrene conditions for the production 
of either of these epidemics. 

The principles set forth in the reports, the facts commented on, the 
important and necessary combination of meteorological and terrene con- 
ditions, the places and sources of infection pointed out in our map, with 
their constant consequences, have been most impressively and accurately 
illustrated and corroborated by what has occurred during the present 
summer, (1854.) Fever has again been manufactured in the depots point- 
ed out, (under the combination alledged) the filthy wharves and river banks 
have again cast their noisome odor to poison the atmosphere, and the 
additional aid from corrupted bilge water and filthy vessels from abroad, 
the dirty back yards and unfilled lots and overflowing privies have added 
their mite, the cleansing out of canals and the disturbance of the streets 
for laying down water and gas pipes have continued throughout the sea- 
son, and although the streets have been better attended to than hereto- 
fore, they form a very small portion of the necessary policeing of a great 
city, and the result has been that yellow fever has again swept off its 
numerous victims and will ever do so until we become wiser by the les- 
sons that have been so often furnished ub. 


But again, this position lias been farther confirmed by what has occurred 
in other cities during the present year. In the city of Savannah, tha 
epidemic of this year is with great probability attributable to the exhu- 
mation of a large number of vessels sunk just below the city during 
the revolutionary war and that of 1812, to the filthy land and other debris 
derived from the city and the tide, which was thrown upon the bank 
near the town and even spread upon the streets, over which the wind 
constantly blew, and to the excavation of the soil of the streets (at least 
a mile) for the purpose of laying down water pipes. 

The epidemic at Augusta, was as fairly owing to the cleaning out of 
filthy canals in the city, and exposure of the offensive mud to the hot 
summers sun, to the emptying the city filth on the bank of the river, 
which was unusually low, and to the disturbance of the soil of the city 
for the purpose of laying down gas pipes. 

Since the special reports were written, and even gone to press, some, 
indeed most of the foreign reports, highly valuable as they all are, have 
been received through the State Department at Washington, and it is no 
slight gratification for the Commission to compare their experience and 
observations in relation to the etiology and contagiousness of yellow fever 
with their distinguished confreres in other regions of this zone, and to 
see the remarkable harmony in our views; it furnishes a strong corrobora- 
tion of the opinions and principles announced, and presents a new claim 
on public confidence. 

For the purpose of carrying out in a full manner the views herein set 
forth, we earnestly recommend the project of a Health Department in a 
subjoined report. Such an organization we deem indispensable to the con- 
dition and character of the city ; special requisites are demanded, with 
experienee, science and skill. It should be constituted a special Consul- 
tative Department, to be advised with in all cases by the city government, 
affecting the health of the city, and it will be seen, hereafter, they are 
very numerous. No enlightened large city is without one, and here it us 
more demanded than in any ot 

It is recommended to State, city and corporate authorities, that when- 
ever disease of an epidemic character exists to an unusual extent or ma- 
lignancy, that special commissions be instituted to investigate their ori- 



gin and causes. Such action is in consonance with the philosophic 
spirit of the age, and we are proud that the first Commission for this great 
philanthropic purpose, shculd have the honor of having been originated in 
New Orleans. 


A Page. 

Appointment of the Sanitary 
Commission — Cause of. . . .III. 

Austin Dr., testimony 23 

Austin David, case 34 

Allen John, case 24 

Algiers 2.5 

Augusta, ship 3 

Alien John, case 3 

Augusta, ship 21 

Aliern, case 9 

Augusta, ship 8 

Ames Wm., case 65 

Austin, case 65 

Allen John, case 66 

Alfred, case 77 

Alfred, case 79 

Alabama 95 

Adams, E. "W., testimony 106 

Adams, It. W., case 106 

Acapulco, yellow fever in ... . 127 
Advice of Dr. Candido against 

propagation of yellow fever. 190 
Advice of Dr. Candido for treat- 
ment of, on board ships 190 

Atmospherical causes 209 

Amic, Dr. testimony of 206 

Acclimation in New Orleans, 
eost of to each nativity in 
"United States and abroad. .247 
Attendants on the sick, not have 

it 542 

Acclimation, what 394 


Bent, case 10 

Bayou Sara 32 

Brown, i )r. T. L., testimony. . . 32 

Butner, Jesse, case 35 

;; Rouge 31 

Bruntz, EL, case 23 

Baton Rouge 32 


Bayou Sara 33 

Beard, Chas., case 33 

Benedict, Dr., testimony of.. 24 

Ball, Dr., testimony 36 

Black River 39 

Bowman, Dr. Benj. H., testi- 
mony 45, 51 

Baker, Miss, case 14 

Berg, Barbara, case 3 

Bowen, testimony 16 

Bowman, case 17 

Boyd, Mrs., case 18 

Browning, Dr., testimony 7 

Brunt, H., case 9 

Bay of St. Louis 64 

Biloxi 65 

Benedict, Dr. N. B., testimony 66 

Bailey, Ed. D., case 72 

Bell, Jas. W., case 73 

Bouena Settlement 75 

Brandon 77 

Belt, Dr. Jas. II., case 77 

Boyd, Dr., testimony 80 

Brugh Mrs., case 80 

Baily, Dr., testimony 80 

Benedict, Dr. T. B., testimony. 82 

Baldwin, Dr., ease 82 

Burrell, A. B., testimony , > . . . . 88 

House 88 

Burchet, Dr. G. K., testimony. 92 

Bailey, Mrs 93 

Blevins, Mrs., case 108 

Barnum, Dr., case 109 

Burr, Col., 109 

Brown, Mrs., case 97 


Bladen Springs 105 

Benedict, Dr. 1ST. B., testimony ..] 13 
Brown, .J. 11., .it' Texas, commu- 
nication from 125 

General Alphabetical Index. 

Bilious and yellow fever, iden- 
tity of 158 

Bilious and yellow fever, the 

same 161 

Blaeks — their liability in Rio . . 158 

Barbadoes 202 

Baton Rouge, 1st case, where no 

yellow lever previously 530 

Birds fled the pestilence at Lake 

Providence 532 

Blackburn, Dr., testimony 533 

Byrenheidt, Dr., of Biloxi, testi- 
mony 540 

Campbell, Dr. L. D., testimony, 10 

Cribben, John, case, 11 

Cottman, Dr. Thomas, testi- 
mony 29 

Charity Hospital, earliest cases 

at.." 3-24 

Caleb, Mrs. H. M., case, 33 

Campbell, Mrs., case, 36 

Circular of the Sanitaay Com- 
mission, 26 

Copes, Dr. T. S., testimony. .. 41 

Centreville 40 

Campbell Mrs., case, 51 

Cross, Dr. G. W., testimony. . . 14 

Clark, Mrs., testimony, 6 

Clark, Mrs., testimony, 7 

Camboden Castle, ship, 22 

Camb< tie, ship, 21 

Chaplin, Capt., testimony,.... 22 
Crocheron, Dr. S. B., testimony 63 

Camboden Castle 8 

Crocheron, Dr. S. B., testimony 22 

Camboden Castle, ship 8 

Campbell, Mrs. Robert, test 

monv, - 53 

Curry W. T., case, 54 

Clifford, Mrs., case, 70 

Clark, Mrs., 55 

Coats, Gilbert, 71 

Curry. W. T., testimony, 55 

Centreville 60 

Crump, Jno. II., testimony, .... 68 



Cothrine, Mrs., case, ^ 

Clancey, Mrs., case, 8 ^ 

rne, 6 ' 

Cashman, Mrs., case, 80 

Coats, Geo., case, • 

Clancey, Mi ...... 

Coats, 'Gilbert, case, 

Clancey, case, 

Clancey, case, f 

Coats, Mrs. Gilbert, case, 92 

Clinton, Miss., 93 

Coats, Mrs. Gilbert, case, 94 

Citronelle, 95 

Cart, Mrs., testimony, 95 

Citronelle, - 98 

Contagion, 100 

Constituents of an Epidemic,- -281 
Contagion — fever in Galveston 

in 1853, not contagious 126 

Causes of yellow fever at Rio — 

external causes, 186 

Combination of atmospheric 
causes with miasms — produ- 
ces yellow fever, 188 

Cause of the Epidemic yellow 

fever in Mar; 210 

Canal cleansing — influence of in 
m hieing yellow fever inMar- 

tijttique 210 

Change of feverin Rio — causeof,159 
Climatic changes in Rio — con 

quence of, 160 

Climatic changes preceding out- 
breaks of yellow fever in Rio 177 
Contagion — proofs that yellow 

fever at Rio is notcontagious,l79 
Chapins, Dr. T., of Martinique, 
communication of to Sani- 
tary Commission, 209 

Candido, Dr. Paul — communi- 
ion from, to Sanitary Com- 
mission on yellow fever, . . . .185 
Cause of all the yellow fever 
epii of the Soutlnv 

of United States 322 

Cause of yellow fever, has no 

ral Alphabetical Index. 


individuality proper 495 

Carrio-aii. I'n-i'.. ;,; Baton Rouge, 

i.oiiy of, 530 

m of yellow fever why 
impossible 273 

Contagion is independent of ex- 
ternal circumstances, 264 

Contagion, what, 274 

Contagiousness of fever if exist, 
fatal consequences, 575 

Contagiou atly ex- 
plained 574 

Cause for every disease, must 

' 365 

Cause of every epidemic, yellow 
fever in the Southwest, ...322 

Cause and 305 

lization, evi 385 

Causes of the insalubrity of the 
city, IX 

Contagion and infection, X 

( 'lunate of a place, what, XI 

Comparison of yellow fever and 
cholera, XIV 

Corroboration of opinions in 
the Report from experience 
of 1854, XVI 

Comparative table of all the epi- 
demics, yellow fever and cho- 
lera, their ratios and rank in 
New Orleans. Sec 461 

Corroboration of the correctness 
of the opinions in the Report, 
of the fever in 
other cities in 1 854 XVII 


Duplanti«r, ease 10 

Daniels, case, 12 

Donaldaonville, case 29,30, 31 

Dumont, Dr., testimony, 25 

Delery, Dr. Charles, testimony, 42 
Dowler, Dr. M. M., testimony,. 4 
Dalton, Dr. C W., testimony,. 17 
Daniel Webster, steamship,.. 19 
Donald, case, 8 

■ >n, case, 8 

Drews' plantation, 54 

Davis. Dr., testimony, 65 

-. Dr., case, 65 

Dickey, case, 66 

Del mas, Mrs., case, 66 

Dunn, Mr., case, 55 

Duncan's plantation, 55 

Davis, Dr., case, 82 

Davis, Col. Fielding, testimony, 83 

Davis, Col. F., testimory 86 

Demopolis 95 

Daniel Pratt, steamboat 96 

Deas, case 97 

Mrs. John 97 

Dog River Cotton Factory. ... 99 
Dirgan, T. Y., U. S. Consul, Ma- 

tamoras, testimony of 134 

Disturbances of soil, at Mobile. 122 
Disturbance of soil in "Wilkinson 

county 122 

Disturbances of soil at Gaines- 
ville 122 

Donnell, Mrs., case 81 

Dowler, Dr. M. M., testimony of. 526 

Davis, Dr., testimony of 535 

Dana, John W., U. S. Consul, 

Bolivia, communication from 542 
Disturbance of soil, proofs of its 
being the cause of all the 
Soutwestern epidemics 315 to 320 
Division of duties among the 
members of the Sanitary 

Commission V 


East Feliciana 35 

Ebbinger, testimony 4 

Empire City, steamboat 70 

Edmonds, Charles H., case 77 

Empire City, steamboat 84 

Empire City, steamboat 94 

Earthy excavations 110 

Epidemic constitution, its proof 261 
Effect of congregating in cities. 435 
Epidemic existing, can't call it 
contagious 262 


General Alphabetical Index. 

Epidemic for its existence two 

causes necessary 262 

Epidemic atmosphere, what 262 

do. certain co] -of 261 

do. influence, proofs of at 

Washington 537 

Epidemic atmospheric proof of 262 
do. influence at Biloxi, 

proof of 540 

Epidemic influence at Natchez, 

proof of 535 

Epidemic influence at Lake Pro- 
vidence, proof of 532 

Epidemic importance of a knowl- 
edge of— when exist and when 

decline XV 


Fort Adams 36-37 

Fortino Dr., testimony 42 

Feely Pat, case 47 

Felty J. W., case 14 

Fort Adams 16 

Farley Mr., testimony 5 

Fagate, case . 70 

Freeman's Hotel 100 

Foley, case G6 

Fenner Dr., testimony 21 

Frank Lyon, steamboat 55 

Frank Lyon, steamboat 70 

Ferguson Mr., case 75 

Foster Mr., case 80 

Fox Mr., case 81 

Ferguson Mrs., case 91 

Faget Mrs., case 94 

Fleming, case 97 

Fourcard Mrs., case 108 

Frank Lyon, steamboat. .84-92-94 

Fort Adams. SO 

Filkins' boarding-house . . 20 

Farrar Dr., testimony 79 

Fever here not imported 493 

Fever indigenous 493 

Fever spread through atmos- 
pheric influences 494 

Fever first cases of. 490 

Fatal consequences of a mistake 381 

First case at Lake Providence.- 5 :Jl 

Gourlav Dr., testimony 28 

sDr. E. P., testimony--- 99 
Grant Dr., Jas. T., testimony. - 43 
Graham Mr., U. S. Consul, Bue- 
nos Ayres, testimony of 198 

Gaines Dr. J. S., testimony. - - 98 

Giffhey Mr., testimony 25 

y Andrew, testimony .... 31 

Greer, case 9 ' 

Gee Major, case 108 

ble Mr., case 92 

.her Peter, case 80 

Gardner Mrs. Eleanor, case .... 78 

Grimes II. E., case 77 

Green, case 77 

GilHghan Pat, case 66 

Grabble H., case 8 

George Mrs., case 19 

Graves, case 50 

Garnett Thos., case 34 

Guayaquil, Topography 141 

Guayaquil, power of 141 

Guayaquil, etiology of. 142 

Gretna 16 

Grand Ecore 34-35 

Galveston in 1853, no contagion 

in its fever 126 

Grinalds Southey, U. S. Consul, 

imunication from 144 

Gibbs', testimony 527 


Houghton Dr. N., testimony.. 51 
Henderson Dr. G. B., testimony 13 
Harney Dr. F. B., testimony.. 35 

Harper Capt., testimony 29 

H ok George T., testimony... 56 

Hillman II., testimony 56 

Harper Dr. Thos. J*., testimo- 
ny 75-90 

Hutchinson Dr. A. II., testimo- 
ny ]o,-, 

Humboldt Dr. Wm., testimony, 

from Mexico 126 

Hollywood 96 

General Alphabetical Index. 


Hildebrand, case 61 

FT nil Mrs., case 81 

Borrabin Mr. T., case 81 

Hmcle Mrs., case 81 

Hildebrand Mrs., ease 75 

Howe R. 1)., case 71 

Haar John, case 9 

Hughes 1 » ■ 8 

Hill U. R. W., case 18-19 

Holland Mrs., case 18 

Hart Thos., case 3-6 

Humphries Mr 14 

Hayne Mrs., case 38, 50 

Howe a., case 25 

Hamilton David, case 33 

Home, ship 5 

Health Department Ordinance. 454 
Helm Chas., Commercial Agent 

U. S., communication from. .204 
Humidity, heat and miasms pro- 
ductive of yellow fever 188 

Houses, low and damp, most in- 
salubrious in yellow fever. . .187 
Humidity of atmosphere, a cause 

of yellow fever in Rio 186 

Hulse Dr., U. S. Navy, commu- 
nication from. 125 

History of the discovery of the 

cause of our epidemics 314 

Hollywood, description of 114 

Hollvwood, cases of fever 

at. 15,16, 17, 18 

Hollvwood, meteorology of in 

• ; 120-121 

Hollywood, cause of the yellow 

fever there 122 

Hill's plantation 18 

Harvest Queen, ship 24 

Humidity, influence of in produ- 
cing yellow fever and cholera 131 

Hart, casr 526 

Humidity, effects of at different 

temperatures 291 

Humidity, proof of at Lake Prov- 
idence, in mould, toad stools, 
&c 532 



Influence of the sun in producing 

yellow fever 183 

Influence of intemperance on oc- 
currence of the fever at Per- 

nambuco 197 

Infection is only propagating the 
disease in a kindred atmos- 
phere 161 

Inundations of river, consequence 

of. 395, 396 

Infection, no contact with sick 

necessary 160 

Infection of yellow fever, how 

made and spread 155 

Interments in Mobile, from 1st 
of August to 1st November, 

1853 100 

Intemperance, influence of in yel- 
low fever 539 

Inundation, effect in the country.396 

Introduction to Report 7 

Instructions to Sanitary Com- 
mission 4 

Intemperance in New Orleans, 
influence on yellow fever, in 

ratios 433 

Jackson, Miss.41-78-83-86-88-89 

>n Mr., case 92 

Jackson Thos., case 70 

Miss, case 95 

Jones, case 13 

Jones Dr. J an i es, testimo ny . . . 2 8 
Dr. James, testimony. ... Go 

Johnson Peter, case 95 

Johnson John, case 96 

Junior, steamboat 96 

Jamison Dr. Wm., testimony of. 141 

Kimball Mrs., case 37 

Kimble Lela, case 47 

Kimble Mrs., case 48 

Kirkland W. H., case 78 

Kelly Mrs., case 69 

Kelterning, case 8 

General Alphabetical Index. 


Kitridge, case 15 

Kein, case 4 

Kerr Dr. John J., testimony.. . . 17 
Kilpatrick Dr. A. R., case/. ... 39 
Kennedy Dr. A. TV., Report to 

Sanitary Commission 199 

Mary Kendall, ship 5 

Lilly, Win., U. S. Consul, Per- 

nambuco, testimony, 125 

Lallemant, Dr. P., testimony, .162 

Lacomb, Dr., testimony, 144 

Lafon, Anton Dr., fever at Mata- 

moras, 1 -' 7 » •"> 

Levert, Dr. H. S., report of, ..110 

Lopez, Dr., testimony, 95 

Langley, Dr., testimony, 79 

Lindsay, Dr. W. P., testimony, 8 

Larche, Dr., 53 

Larche, Dr., 48 

Lemonier, Dr., 9 

Laugenbacker, Dr., testimony,- '-'() 

Louisiana, testimony, 28 

Lanier, Mrs., case,. 71, 83, 90, 93. 94 

Langford, Robert, case, 70, 77 

Lee. Miss A., case, 80 

Laclis, Simon, case, 72 

Lowber, F., case, 9 

Leech, Wm., case, 19 

Lanness, Chas., case, 6 

Lyons, case, 17 

Love, Mrs., case 13 

tse, 25 

sr, case, 1') 

Lake Providence,.;. i 7, 57 

alising conditions for yell 

fever, 3-15 

Live Oak Hotel 05 

: ! ies of yellow fever in Rio, 180 
Lunatic Asylum, Jackson, . 

Mis-., ." 81, 90 

Leprosy in New Orleans, how 

removed, VIII 

Marshall, Rev. C. K., testi- 
mony, 67, 69, 78, 83, 84, 88 


Moore, J.. H. testimony, 

McRae, Malcom, testh - - 65 

Maxwell, John, testimony, 54 

Moss, Dr. B. K, testimony,-- 18 

Meighans, Dr., testimony, 5 

Meux, Dr., testimony, 12 

Macgibbon, Dr., testimony,.. 11 

Mather, Dr., testimony, 11 

Magruder, Dr. A. L., 94 

Mabry, Dr. A. G., report, 106 

McNair, R. H., concerning Gal- 
veston, testimony, 126 

Madison ville, 28, 29 

Mississippi, City, 18 

do. State, testimony from 65 
do. river, attributes of,. . . 442 

Montgomery, - 95, 106 

Mobile, ....- 95, 110 

do. Marine Hospital, 

City Hospital, 96 

Monterico Plantation, 2, 16 

Memphis, steamboat, 37 

Miller, P., steamboat, 43 

Mannings' plantation, 50 

Madison co., Miss., 05 

McGuigan, James, case. . .3, 6, 38 

Mitchell, Col. Levi, case, 

Mitchell, Mr., case, 108 

Milano, Dr., case, 18, 1 9 

Martin, Mr 19 

Mahoney, Michael, case, 3, 25 

Mills, case, 14 

Melchert, case, 17 

Moore. Mrs 

Moore, Col. L. C, and servants, 


McDowell, Mr., case 96 

Murray, Thos., case, u 

M array, Alfred, ease, 07 

Miles, Richard, case, 112 

Miller, case, ;,;, 

Massey, Elisha, case, 77 

Mosher, II. T., case, 79 

Muller, Mr., case, 79 

McCausland, case, 10 

McCarty, case, 80 

General Alphabetical Index. 


Myers, Mrs., case, 72 

Meteorological condition with 

local focus, 210 

Martinique, cause of yellow 

fever, 211 

Meteorological elements of the 


Meteorological condition at Rio 

i iliar, during yellow fever,. 18G 
Meteorology of Buenos Avers, 199 

and ..^ " 210 

lorology of Martinique, ... 208 

Matamoras, population of 137 

do. Fever of, 137 

Meteorology of,. -'- 136 

do. Mortality of, 140 

Martinique, fever at, 206 

do. Topography of, 206 

Mortality of N. O. in 1853, and 

ratios to population, 253 

i al constitution of the year. 229 
Mode of raising funds to pay for 

sanitary reforms in N. ()., . . .4 58 
Members comprising Sanitary 

Commission, Ill 

Meteorological elements of y 

low fever, XIII 

Meteorological elements of 

cholera, XIII 


Nott, Dr. J. C, report 95 

. testimony 81 

Northall, Dr., case 112 

New ton, Mrs., case 80 

in, .Major, case 15 

Nelson, Mrs., case 25 

Northampton, ship 3, 6, 7, 23 

I''. ship 7 

N iagara, ship 24 

. ille 15 

- 58 


Nunnery 9 

New River 30 

New Orleans, comparison with 
other cities 434 

Names of consular agents and 
physicians who answered our 

circular, V. 


Odell, Mr., testimony 37 

W. S., case 47, 50 

Odell, Mr., case 36, 37 

Ocean Springs 65 

( )uachita River 43 

Origin of the fever 478 

Origin and spread of the epi- 
demic, by Dr. Axson 477 

Orleans, New, prosperity of, on 

what dependent 450 


Preston, Mrs., case 82 

1 'otts, Miss, case 72 

Porter 65 

Phyer, Col., case 18 

Pascagoula 66 

Porter, Dr., 15 

Point Coupee 41 

rsonville 43, 61 

Puerto Cabello, sanitary meas- 
ures of 150 

Puerto Cabello, etiology of, 

meteorology of 145 

Propositions and corollaries . . .447 
Progress of the fever from the 

• into the country 395 

Peculiar air of cities 

Parallel of plague and yellow 

fever 330 

Parallel of yellow fever and 

cholera 240 

Prediction of the epidemic 1853 .313 
Propositions relating to epidem- 

ic,endemic and periodic fevers,3 1 1 
Population of 1853, in New 
Orleans, mortality and ratios, 
of public and private practice,253 
Pretto, Dr., statement from St. 

Thomas 205 

Pike, J no. A., testimony 31 

Pradas, testimony 65 

Picton, Dr. J. M. W., testimony 64 


General Alphabetical h 


Posey, Dr., testimony 7 7, 78 

Pennell, testimony 76 

Parham, Wra. A., testimony.. 37 

Pashly, Mr., testimony 6 

Port Gibson 66, 68 

Penitentiary 15 

Point Clair 100 

Pine Grove 28 

Protlirans' Plantation 35 

Parks' Plantation 55 

Puerto Cabello, topograpby of. 144 
Places and conditions where 

yellow fever most fatal 187 

Preservative measures against 

yellow fever on board ships .191 
Pernambuco, yellow fever there.. 160 
do. yellow fever not 

imported 198 

Pashley's testimony 525 

Propositions and results 401 

Programme of the labors of the 

Sanitary Commission VII 

Privies, how to be built in New 

Orleans — how remedied — .427 


Quimley Wm, case 70, 94 

Quarantine at Vicksburg 13 

Quito Equador, testimony of 
Dr. Jameson 141 

Quarantine, report on by Dr. 
Simonds 505 

Quarantine, proper principles on 
which to be founded. ...... X 


Rio Janeiro, list of arrivals from 
April 1, to June 28, 1853. . . 6 

Rio Janeiro, great climatic 
changes in, preceding the oc- 
currence of yellow lever there 
for first time 177 

Rio Janeiro, aspect of city and 
port, at beginning of the epi- 
dc 169 

Rio Janeiro, date of outbreak of 
the yellow fever there 163 

Rio Janeiro, description of yel- 


low fever there by Dr. Lal- 

lemant - 16 ' 2 

Rio Janeiro, first yellow fever 
there 165 

Rio Janeiro, etiology of yellow 
fever there 185 

Rio Janeiro, yellow'fever of, i 
veloped by meteorological 
causes i ' i 

Rio Janeiro, great ravages of the 
fever there 170-1 7 1 

Rio Janeiro, proportionate mor- 
tality ...175 

Rio Janeiro, fever there, not im- 
ported from Africa 152 

Rio Janeiro, first origin of fever 
there 151 

Ratios of cases to population in 
each of the Wards of New- 
Orleans, and their causes. . .402 

Report on Sanitary Condition of 
New Orleans, by E. II. Barton..218 

Rio, different effects of the fever 
in the acclimated and uuac- 
climated 158 

Rio, population and mortality 
of. 154-'5 

Rio, filthy condition of 151 

Rio, patients proceeding to the 
interior never communicated 
the fever to the attendants and 


Rio, parts of, where yellow fever 
worst 154 

Rio, fever of, supposed imported 
from New Orleans 153 

Ragan William, testimony 82 

Richardson Dr., testimony 34 

Richardson T. P., testimony. . . 42 

Reed Capt., testimony. ...'.. . . 23 

Rushton Dr. Wm., testimony. - 19 

L'app Jno. R., case '. . . 72 

Margaret, case 73 

se 16 

Russell Margar 13 

Ramsay, case 66 

General Alphabetical Index. 


Rohanson, case 7 

Ridgeley, case 20 

Rigley John, case 72 

Ridgeley Dr., testimony 19 

Remediate or preventive measurs 

in detail 414 

Recommendations 452 

Recapitulation, causes and re- 
sults 388 

Recommendations to other afflic- 
ted cities XVIII 


Stone, Dr. Warren, testimony . . 9 
Sunderland, Dr. Win. P., testi- 
mony 15 

Shuppert, Dr., testimony 8 

Sizer, Mrs., testimony 80 

Shaw, H. B., testimony 5*7 

Smith, Mrs., case 108 

Shultz, Mrs., case 90 

Spingler, case 89 

Sherman, case 28 

Stramler, case 97 

Spangler, case 88 

Session family, case 87 

Scannell, Mrs., case 85 

Stowe, case 81 

Shelton, Wm. H., case 77 

Smith Edmund, case, 77 

Shaw, case 60 

Selser, case 74 

Sesson, Mrs., case 74 

Stewart, case 73 

Scarborough, Ed., case 77 

Schultz, Mrs., case 71 

Scannell, case 76 

Sheppard, Dr., case 14 

Sessions, case 17 

Selby, Mrs., case 47 to 51 

Scarborough, Mrs. case 38 

Schnppert, Dr., case 22 

St. Francisville 33 

Saxon, ship 25 

^elltv. Lewis, testimony 38 



Sparrow House 47 

Stacy, D. S., steamboat 47 

St. John Baptist 42 

Sanford's plantation 50 

Selby, Judge Lewis, testimony. 52 

Siri, bark 7 

St. Mary 61 

Steamboats at Lake Provi- 
dence 55, 56 

Sawdust in the streets of Lake 

Providence 55 

Stacy, D. S., steamboat 54 

St. Stephen's road 99 

Selma 106 

Spring Hill 97 

Spring Hill Nunnery 98 

Scott, R. G., U. S. Consul, com- 
munication from 150 

Sanitary map of city, explana- 
tion of, &c 397 

Sandy soil, its deceptive cleanli- 
ness, &c - 440 

St. Thomas, fever at 204 

Sewerage, report on by Professor 

Riddell 463 

Spontaneous occurrence of yel- 
low fever at Barbadoes 203 

Senckler, Dr. J. W., of Barba- 
does, testimony of 203 

Spontaneous cases, value of 372 

Solar radiation in New Orleans, 

Wilkinson and Hancock 123 

Shuppert's testimony 527 

Spontaneous origin of the fever 

here 503 

Salubrity of a country, true test 

of 393 

Shuppert's case of 23d May.. .529 
Sawdust mixed with mud on 

streets at Lake Providence. .532 
Spread of the fever from locality 

to locality, how 412 

Selby, Judge, testimony 531 

Tuun.T. Noble, U. S, Consul at 

General Alphabetical Index. 


Barbadoes, testimony, 202 

Tarpley, Col. S. C, testimony, . 89 
Thornton, Dr. J. J., testimony, . 77 

Terry, E., testimony, 47 

Tharp, Dr., testimony, 23 

Triplet, case, 56 

Tucker, John, case, 56 

Turner, Rose, case, 25 

Terry, Mrs., case, 28 

Trahen, Jean, case, 20 

Trinity, 39 

Titcomb 25 

Tharpe, Dr., 6 

Thibodeauxville, 15 

Trenton, La., 42 

Teche, La., 40 

Test of high civilization, 435 

Testimony of correspondent G., 

yellow fever at Rio, 193 

Topography of Martinique, — .207 
Terrene, constituent, to produce 

yellow fever, 309 

Truth and facts, no two opposite 

ones in nature, 276 

Truth, difficulty of reaching it 
during the panic of an epi- 
demic, 532 

Table of climatic elements of 

yellow fever and cholera, XIII 
Table of cost of acclimation to 

every nativity, 248 

Table of, relative salubrity of 
any ward in the city and 

causes, 420 

Tables — mortuary and Meteoro- 
logical, following the "Report 
on the Sanitary Condition of 
New Orleans." 
Table — showing dates of each of 
the epidemics of New Orleans, 
and ratios. 
Table — meteorology of the year 

Table of hygrometry of the 
winds, <kc, 461 



Vicksburg, 69, 82, 90 

dr.. " Hospital, 92 

do. 9* 

Vidalia, 57 

Vanderlinden, clerk, Charity 

Hospital testimony 3 

Wood Dr. W. B., testimony . 40, 60 

Wood Dr., testimony 12 

White Dr., testimony 13 

Woodruff Jno. O., testimony. . . 24 

Wyly Dr. J. G., testimony 47 

Witty Christian, testimony 4 

Wren Dr. Jno. V., testimony. . 66 
White Dr. F., testimony. .."... 92 

Walkly Dr., testimony 95 

Wattleworth Chas., testimony . . 99 
Wedderburn Dr., testimony. . . .124 

Woetle G, case 22 

Whicher Dr. P. P., case 33 

Worsham Win., case 

Webb, case 15 

Walker, case 66 

Waters Mrs., case 65 

Wootte G., case 9 

Worthen Miss F., case 71 

Webber Miss, case 79 

Woodman M., case 90 

White Dr. F., case 92 

Woette G. H., case 3 

Wood M., case 50 

Washburn Mr., case 106 

White M., case 109 

Woodlawn 68-69 

Warren ton 74-75 

Miltiades, barque 95 

Wilson Geo. G., plantation 48 

Waggaman's plantation 19 

Wailes Prof., testimony of. 537 

Wharton Dr., at Port "Gibson.. 539 
Worst combination to produce 

yellow lever 314 

\ellow fever in rural districts. .157 

General Alphabetical Index* 


Yellow fever spontaneous occur- 
rence at Pernambuco 196 

Yellow fever, result of an epi- 
demic atmosphere 181 

Yellow fever, those sick of it, not 
propagate it 162 

Yellow fever at Barbadoes, first 
cases, cause of 203 

Yellow fever, interior causes 
of 188-189 

Yellow fever does not require a 
specific cause of infection 161 

Yellow fever, why spread in city 
and not in country 15 7 

Yellow fever at sea 154 

Yellow fever in a foreigner is but 
a mitigated fever in native, 
proceeding from same cause. .132 

Yellow fever and cholera, where- 
in they differ 127 

Yellow fever in the interior of 
the country 149 

Yellow fever, second attacks of. . 134 

Yellow fever, most concentrated 
form of fever 131 


Yellow fever and cholera, resem- 
blance of. 128.129 

Yellow fever, mode of extension 
during an epidemic 127 

Yellow fever parallel with pla- 
gue 330 

Yellow fever parrallel with chole- 
ra 240 

Yellow fever not arise and spread 
from contagion 497 

Yellow fever, origin and causes 
of, can be traced 366 

Yellow fever, value of knowing 
its true cause 379 

Yellow fever, cause of, known as 
much as of any fever 329 

Yellow fever, zone of, on what 
it depends 285 

Yellow fever spontaneous at Lake 
Providence 531 

Yellow fever, causes of assigna- 
ble 214 


Zehender Dr. J. R. S., testimony, 20 






CHART A. — Represents the mortality of 
the city for the near fifty years, 
with its causes— and the aver- 
age monthly mortality 

CHART B. — Represents the average monthly 
radiation, temperature in shade, 
dew point, moisture, drying 
power, and mortality, special 
and general. 

TABLES C, D, E. — Contain the daily meteor- 
ological condition in detail, and 
the daily mortality, during the 
three epidemic months., 

TABLE F. — Contains the classified mortal- 
ity of the year, with the nativ 
ities, age, sex and color. 

TABLE G. — Hai the returns of each of the 
Cemeteries, monthly, during 
the year 

TABLE H. — Shows the cost of accxima 
tion to each portion of our pop- 
ulation, according to nativity 

TABLE I.— Comparisons of 1853 where the 
yellow fever prevailed, and do. 
of 1852, where not 

TABLE K. — Weather at v&rious stations du- 
riag the yellow fever months of 




TABLE L.— Amount of rain where prevailed 
yellow fever of 1853, in com- 
parison with a mean of several 

TABLE M— -Humidity, and monthly mean of 
stations where the yellowfever 
prevailed, summer of 1853. 

TABLES N. and O.— Complete meteorologi- 
cal tables for the year,. . . 

TABLES P, Q_ —Tables of hygrometry of the 
winds, and winds by seasons 
and months, on an average of 
several years 

TABLE R.— Localization of cases of epidemic 
yellow fever, population of dis- 
tricts and wards, and ratios of 

esses to each 

MAP. S.— Sanitary map of New Orleans, with 
nuisances, &c, injurious to 
health, indicated in each ward 
and district of the city — (op.) 

TABLE— Showing periods of occurrence of 
each epidemic yellow fever and 
cholera that has occurred in 
this city, with the amount of 
mortality and ratios to popula 
tion, and relative rank ir 
271 amounts, &.C., 461 














SECTION I.— General Programme — Im- 
portance of San itary Laws — Our 
al condition — What other 
have done, and their re- 

SfC., 213 

Division of duties, '214 

Importance of the subject, 2 1 4 

Causes of yellow fever assignable 215 

Not atmospherical alone, 21 5 

Not filth alone 215 


Neither alone sufficient, 215 

The remarkable culminating points of each, . . 216 

Proof, 216 

Combination onlv fatal, 210 

Probata— Corollary, 217 

Yellow fever preventable 217 

Duty, responsibility, and toil of the Commis- 
sion, 217 

Fair examination and immediate trial, 218 

Laws of health established— a mark ot civil- 
ization, 218 

No ills without a remedy, 219 

Value of the lesson, 2.9 

New Orleans requires sanitary reform more 
than any other city — risk in speaking the 

truth 219 

Causes of our neglect and apathy, 220 

Ignorance of oar condition, 220 

Highest proof of patriotism, 220 

Filth and diaea id effect, 22 I 

Proof of our gullability, 

Value of knowing the truth 

Cost of ignorance, 221 

No attempt to niter it, 221 

The real mortality for half a century, 222 

Average mortality for half a century, 222 

The true wealth of a city, 222 

The real cause of the high price of every- 
thing, 222 

Insalubrity and immorality have a similar pa- 
ternity, 223 

Average mortt I :| ite 

" " ol England and the United 

States, 223 

Stigma of insalubrity, 223 

I cities not selected on account of their 

salubrity, 224 

Bad locality for health (New Orleans) if not 

improved, 224 

Petersburg, Va., once very fatal in its climate, 225 
Do. Bristol, Pa. — in extent, both corrected,.. 225 

Do. of Louisville, Kentucky — corrected 225 

On what has depended the improved health 

of Northern cities, 225 

Experience abroad, 225 

Man's situation and elevation dependent upon 

his industry and Intelligence, 

As shown in England and Turkey, 226 

Contrasted — and with other countries, 226 

Condition in Egypt, 227 

Mortality with the natives, 227 

Salutary effect of sanitary measures, 227 

Consequences of their neglect, 228 

Awakening of the public mind to the value 
and importance of sanitary reform, 

Where lies the difficulty? 

Not in the subject, but in prejudices and igno 
ranee of it, 

SECTION II.— Medical Constitution of 
the Year — Prediction of the 
Fever — Interpretation of Phys- 
ical — Climatic Pe- 
culiarities — Parallel of Cholera 

and Yellow Fever 

Medical constitution — what, 

Do of January, with its meteorology andmor 


Do of February, with its meteorology and 


Do. of March, with its meteorology and mor- 

Do. of April, with its meteorology and mor- 

Do. oi May, with its meteorology and mortal- 

! mistaken for dryness,. 

Reasons for the prediction for the epidemic 

in May, 

Early cases, 

-meteorology and mortality, 

Tropical character of the season, 

'i meter, 

nee of scarlatina 

Predominance of Nervous affections, 

!ii July — duty of Physicians, 

No evil permitted without a remedy, 

Interpretation of physical phenomena, 

Prodrome of the epidemic, 

No precursory influence on man, 

isture — Great stagnation of air, 

Filthy gutters, 

During August — mortality 

High temperature, and almost average satu- 

High radiation — unprecedented, 

Saturation — unparnllcd stagnation of air, 

In September, 

1 tiatic change, 

Epidemic retiring 

The mode of interpreting the influence oi 

meteorology on mortality 

In October, 

Climatic change continued, 

Epidemic, as such, ceased 

In November — unusual East wind, 

In December, 

Great barometric variations, 

Air becomes comparatively dry 

Parallel of cholera and yellow fever, climat- 
ically and physiologically — Dew point — 

Wind-- — pathologically, 

Mortality of the month, 

Great results often proceed from apparently 

insignificant causes 

Climatic peculiarities of the year, 

High radiation and sickness concomitant,. 



















liv Index to Report on the Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 



Difference between moisture, at high and at 

lew temperatures, 243 

Peculiarities of the season 2-14 

Creoles exempt — ' arbuncles, 244 

Influence of color and sex — Eruptions 245 

Law of compensation — Buboes, 245 

In May most contagious maladies, 245 

In August most nervous diseases, 246 

Reverse of the pulmonary, 246 

Intemperance most fatal in summer, 2461 

Thunder storms and lightning during epi- 
demics, 246| 

Gas in the gutters soon after a rain, 246 

Earthquakes during the summer, 247 

SECTION III. — Cost of Acclimation to each 
Nativity in the United Mat's 
oud Foreign Countries, with 
the probable causet of their re- 
markable dii'er ittcs 

Social position, as represented by the ceme- 

Mode of constructing the table, 

Table H — Showing cost of acclimation,. 

Cost in New Orleans, 

" in extreme Southern States, 

" in Northern slave States, 

" in Northern States, 

" in Northwestern S tates, 

Probable cause of the difference, 

Cost in British America, . , 

" from South America, Mexico, and West 


Total, 12 J- per cent, for all America,.. . 

Mortality of the colored, 

" of those from France, and do. Eng- 

Mortality of those from Ireland — Cause, 

'' ' " North of Europe,... 

" " Middle Europe, 

" from Holland and Belgium — Prob- 
able causes, 

Mortality of those fromSwitzerland and Aus 


Accounted for, 

From Spain and Italy — Probable reasons, 

SECTION IV. — Population — Mortal;/,, — 
Ratios of Cases and Deaths — 
Comparisons with other Cities 

and Countries, 

Total population in 185:1, 

Difference in the population in 1847 and 1853. 

Total unacclimated population, , 

Number supposed to have left the city, 

Number in the city during the epidemic, 

Mortality by yellow (ever, 

Ratios to the different populations, 

Cases, mortality and ratios in different pub 

lie institutions, 

Ratios — Number of cases in private practice, 

Total ratios, 

Tribute to the Faculty — Our associations and 

friends abroad 

Why compare with other cities 

Mortality from epidemic yellow fever in Phil 

adelphia, in 1793,* 97-38 

Average hospital mortality there, 

When most fatal, 

In New York, Baltimore, and Charleston 

In Mobile — In New Orleans, 

In Spain — In the Wert Indies, 


At Vera Cruz,. .. 

Ratio of mortality in the different classes at 


Mortality in the interior, 

Great mortality from yellow fever abroad, 

SECTION V. — Epidemic Constitution — 
Its two Constituents — Differ-^ 
ence between an Epidemic and 
an Endemic, 

Division of the subject, - 

Epidemics formed of certain constituents,.. 

if epidemic, not contagious, 

Proof of an epidemic atmosphere, 

Further proof 

Epidemic atmosphere — what, 

Its great value, 

in independent of external circum- 
stances, --- 

On vegetable and animal life formerly, 

Birds driven away and killed, 

Its influence on vegetable and animal life 
in the neighborhood, 

Epidemic influence on fish on coast of Texas, 

At Bolixi, Bay of St. Louis, Bayou Sara, 

Do. at Centreviile, Clinton, Baton Rouge, 
Lake Providence, Port Gibson, Natchez, at 
Washington, at Gainesville, 

Information ofepideniicinfluence from Smith 
sonian Institute, 

Rainy season depresses the midday tempera- 

Elevates the morning and evening, 

Tropical weather in New Orleans in 1853,.. . 

Do. extended throughout the stations,... 

Equal to a remove 10 deg. fbrther South, 

Frequency of rains, next to amount, evince 
tropica] season, 

Rains and fevers cotemporaneous in Texas 
and Mobile, 

Simultaneous occurrence of the fever with 
high saturation, 

Do. do. always present, 

Why impossible to be contagious, 

To what extent infectious — not personal, 

What is contagion, 

Yellow fever not contagious, 

[low apparently so, explained, 

ition from the human body of per- 
manent suspension in the atmosphere,.. 

Consequence on human intercourse, if per- 

Forbid human intercourse, 

Physical in harmony with social constitution, 

No two opposite facts in nature, 

Difference between an epidemic and an en 

Practical deduction, 

Proof from Humboldt, 

Nowhere apparently, even, contagious, but 
where epidemic principle present, 

As at Memphis, Clinton. Bladen Springs, at 
Cahawba, Black River, Point Clair, Hoih- 
wood, Gainesville, Trinity, La , Poi tersville, 
Rio, Puerto Cabello, Guayaquil,. . 

Fever the same as in former years, 

Each have their types, 

Although an epidemic atmosphere may pre 
vail, disease only developed where locali- 
sing condition of filth, &c„ 280 




















Index to Report on the Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. xv 


SECTION VI.— Toe two Agents required to 
produce an Epidemic — Atmos 
pheric and Terrene — Yellow Fe 
ver Zone — Limits of the Epi- 
demic of 1853 — Geographical 
limits of Fever — Meteorological 

Eicments — In detail 

Ancient opinion of pestilence— ilfwsf be causes 

and under laws, 

Epidemics — the " shears of fate," 

The danger is in the combination, 

The meteorology ia the climate of a country 
HlGHTRMPERATUBK of certain duration 

tial — in Philadelphia — and how apply here 
Temperature producing as epidemic in New 

Orleans, and during it, 

Do. in Spain— at Kio 

Above 90 deg too high to favorite production, 
Hence it does not exist in Alrica and the 

East I ndies, . . 

Temperature requ'red for the plague, 

" " for typhus gravior,... 

Temperature alone not sufficient, 

Yellow fever commences far South, and pro- 
ceeds regularly North 

Limits of epidemic in 1853, 

Periods of its occurrence in different coun 

On what yellow fever zone depends, mainly, 

What has changed it, 

Yellow fever blinding with the ordinary dis- 
eases of the country 

Occurs in the rural districts of Mexico, South 
America, and West Indies, 

Precursors of tie yellow fever at Bio, 

Simultaneous climatic changes, 

Diseases change with the climate in Demarara. 

Modifies and influences treatment, 

Vital laws influenced by meteorological 

First yellow fever South of the equator, 

And a"t the unusual height of 3,023 feet — in 
rural di-'t ricts, 

Do in rural districts and with natives, 

Do. in " " in Barbadoes, 

Deductions from its blending with the ordi 
nary fevers, not only here, but in Charles. 

This occurs through man's agency 

Occurrence of fever dependent on tempera 

Its geographical limits 

Humidity affects health differently at differ- 
ent temperatures, 

Its amount in the atmosphere but recently 

Fevers not in proportion to the amount of 
moisture, but a great amount always re 
quired - 

Different effect of humidity at high and low 

Pro fe, 

Quantity of rain not an exact proof of the 

amount of moisture, 

' ly season, 

Proofs at Puerto Cabello, Bermuda, New Or- 

Denied, but no proof to sustain it, 

Unfounded statement of Darby , 

Po -itive proof of its erroneousness 

Moisture indispensable, 

P roof in Flanders 

Error ia supposing great moisture at sea, . . 




It is only so near shore, 297 

Effect of swampy districts on health, 297 

Effect of drainage of towns on moisture and 
on health, 

Amount of moisture depends upon tempera- 

How great humidity acts, 

Dew point of yellow fever, plague, typhus 
gravior and cholera, 

Sources of it here, 

Kadiation as a source of disease now first 

Yellow fever weather described, 

Shown elsewhere — At St. John Baptist, 

At Gainesville, at Hollywood, at New Orleans, 

Probably the "fiery something" of Chalmers 
and Lining 

Terrestrial radiation, 

Whence the principal danger of night air,.. 



Influence of elevation upon it, 


Proofs in its influence on the vegetable king- 

Radiation worthy of farther investigation,... 

Influence of wind< 

Amount of moisture in each here — Direction, 
Unwholesome nature of land wind in sum- 



-'' stem of balances, 

A pology if records imperfect, 

Exact amount of materials for an epidemic 


Duration required, for disease to be developed 
Advantage of foresigth — to epidemics,... 

SE CTION VII.— The S kcond Constituent— 
The Terrene — Exposure of the 
Soil — Sine quanon for our Ep- 
idemics — Proofs back for sixty 
Years, in nearly every large 
Southern town — How first no- 
ticed — Grade of Fevers — Know 
as much of the cause of Yellow 
Fever as of aay Fever — Paral- 
lel with the Plague — Extension 
of Epidemics due to inunda- 
tions — When Swamps most dan. 
gcrous — How andwhen to drain 


The other blade of the shear, 

From whence varieties of fever, 

To apply the same principle in examining 
into the causes of yellow fever as of other 


1st proposition — Cause of every epidemic, 

2d " Cause of our endemics, 311 

[3d " Cause of our periodic or 

bilious fever? 

Of the 1st proposition— Proof, 

Brief history ot nil our epidemics — of 1796, 
Of 1811, •)!, '19, '22, '32, '33, '-46, '48, of 1848 

'49, and its consequences, 

The special causes for the epidemic of '853, 
Cholera and yellow fever — Highest grades of 

zymotic diseases, 

Exposure of earth with heat and moisture — 

worst combination, 

How thes>- facts first made known to me, 

No effect without an adequate cause, 

Too invariable for a mere coincidence 315 

Proofs of each of the epidemics of Natche2, 3i6 
Do. of Memphis— Do. ot St. FrancLvilie anal 
















Index to Report on the Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 





Bayou Sara— Lake Providence — Fort Ad- 
ams, Centreville, Clinton, Trenton, — 
Do. on the Lafourche, Natchitoches, Algiers 31t 

Do. at Mobile, and at Selma, 

Do at Montgomery, Hollywood, Gainesville, 

in Charleston, 

Value of a sanitary survey, 320 

At the Chesapeake and Delaware Canals,.. 320 

And in other countries' — In Africa, 321 

At Martinique, at Fort do France, 

Same results on first cultivating a country.. 321 
Disturbing original soi 

The special, cause of every epidemic yellow- 
fever in the Southwest of the United Sta 
Testimony of Hippocrates and Sydenham, . . SSi 
Too many coincidences to be other than 

cause and effect, 

Ample proofs, 

Cause of our endemics 324 

Cause of our bilious and periodic fevers, 324 

Proofs that the yellow, bilious, and periodic 

fevers are convertible and the same, 325 

Importance of this in a sanitary point of view, 3! 
Identity of yellow and bilious levers — pi 

Of endemic origin, 32' 

Why yellow fever not always break out with 1 

apparent presence of the causes, 37i 

Two conditions necessary for an epidemic 

fever. 327 

The presence of an acclimated population' 

preventi effects proportionably to cause, . . . 328 
Every climate has its peculiarity of morbid 

action, 328 

Don't know the real cause of any disease,. . . 329 

The baneful effects of our hall dried swamps, 342 

, its improper exposure since l«4u,.- MJ 

The two conditions illustrated in Demarara, 34. 

And in different years, 

And in Rio de Janeiro 


How diseases have been changed, 

Know as much of the cause of yellow fever 

as of any known disease, 

Parallel of plague and yellow fever, 

Similarity — Black vomit — Liability but once, 

Marshes — Humidity, 

Latitudes — neither contagious, 


Acclimation period of occurrence, 

Temperatures required lor each, 

Influence of its climate on consumption, and 


Effects of our half dried swamps, 
Inundation cause of cholera and other sick- 

Why the epidemic should commence iu New 


Late inundatians promoting the spread of the 

Dangerous in proportion to desiccation — short 

of complete drijn ess, 

nundation of the Tiber, 

AtStrasburg — In France and Italy 

At Lyn Regis — At Brassora as an act of venge 


In Egypt— AtLaguayra — Its first yellow fever, 
Inundations here do not produce disease first 


Always the second year, 

Different stages of draining produce different 


Northwestern limits of the epidemic,. . 
Effect of inundation late in the spring,. 

Effect of exposure after inundation, 

At Demarara — Near Philadelphia 

Near Calcutta — In Holland — Near Rom 

Precautions necessary, J341 

Moist land evolves more humidity than water, 34 1 
Valu6 of woads, 342 1 

SECTION VIII —Localising Conditions 
Specified more in detail — How 
muck Air spoiled each day — II hat 
docs it — Influence of Cemeteries — 
ies — Streets, 6>c — Filth — 
Low Houses — Miasmatic Theo- 
ries — Cause of Yellow Fever 
known — Deductions practical — 
Duty of Civil A uthority— Penalty 344 
on to sanitary measures a test of civ- 

ilization and refinement, 345 

Providence influences man through second- 
ary causes, W5 

Illustrations, 346 

Filth the great enemy of man, 346 

: 346 

able nature of pure air, 347 

Peculiar air of cities, 347 

It spreads everywhere -JiS 

Parts of cities most filthy, and therefore most 

sickly, 348 

Test of a city's insalubrity when it departs 
from that of its neighborhood, and shows 

it to be artificial, 348 

Amount of air required for respiration :;49 

Size of rooms, 349 

Amount of air vitiated iu a crowded city per 

day, '. 349 

Absolute necessity of ventilation, 

How promote this 

Necessity of drainage, I350 

Disorders not from defective food and clothingl 

among the poor but from crowding and 
Cost of removing filth but a small part 1 1 the 

annual cost to relieve, 350 

_ demoralization, 351 

The poison from crowding is organic matter, 

as well as carbonic a 351 

Comparison of air with food, 350 

y of ventilation, 353 

Organic matter always in air, notwithstand- 
ing rains, 354 

Water absorbs whatever air contains 1354 

Absorptive power of water, 

Value of rain water if kept pure, , 

.Moral and physical condition dependent upon 
similar circumstances, 

How food injured, 

Injuries resulting from cemeteries 

How soon bodies decay, 

Number of bodies to the acre annually, 

Regulations in London, 

Iutra-mural interments adopted by rural cem- 

The greatest difficulties in cities. 

Amount of filth exposed to constantlv and to 
be disposed of, 

The area of the city— temperature and moist 

Amount of this gas to poison a bird— a dog— 
a man 







Streets as a source of disease— what good 
and bail 

Houses — How to be constructed 

Empty lots as a source of disease, 

The true miasma is whatever impairs the 
parity of the air ^55 



Index to Report on the Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. xvii 


i ere — No proof, 

Explanation of I r. Ferguson's bj p< 

for absorption into 

im, 362 

Why it can't be the " drying power," 362 

Is from a physiological cause or h 

moisture in the atmosphere, 

Absorln i apparently cleanly — Con- 
ceals, not destroys tilth, 1364 

Healthy as Ions as dry, 364 

A two-!' requisite, 365 

No eli'ect can arise but from an adequate cai 
Difference of curative and preventive science, 3(15 

Cause an oce,. 365 

Must be a caut : i-case 3i>5 

And as much of that of yellow fever as of any 

other, 36i 

Because we can trace its origin to the causes 

■I.- - - - - 

Seats of these causes in all large cities, 

Why limited — and how extended, 

to be of future value diould be 
made up at once, 
Gibraltar very filthy within the houses, and 

very crowded 

Bay of Havana, 

Cause of the insalubrity of the city, 

Description of Vera Cruz — Cause of its insa- 

Prescription to produce yellow fever — (in a 


Cause of yellow fever, 

Great value of the spontaneous cases — settles 

the subject, 

Do. at Hollywood, at Gainesville, 
Do. in Washington, Lake Providence, Tren- 
Do. in Franklin, the Black Warrior, at Mobile, 
Do. at Selm i, Demopolis.Saluria, Port Gibson, 
Do. at Baton Rouge, Centreville, Natchitoches, 374 
Do. at Washington, La., Martinique, Bermuda, 374 

Do. at Barbadoee, II io de Janeiro, 37-i 

Local — Spontaneous origin from filth, 374 

Spontaneous occurience at sea, 375 

Do. do on arrival in port, . . 375 

Change of type of fever from change of cli 


Opinions of Inspectors General of Hospitals, 375 
Dr Rush's recantation about contagion and 

local origin, 

In ships at sea from Northern ports, 

Cause of > ellow fever known, 


Conclusions of General Board of Health of 

England on yellow fever,, 
No room for skepticism, 

Of cholera, 

Evidi nee of civilization, ::,-;, 

Originators of sanitary laws, 335 

claim on the civil power to protect 

' health 385 

Original opinion of Dr. Rush, 383 

First legislative action upon it, 

[As much the duty of civil authority to keep off, 
yellow fever as it is to protect life in any j 

other way, 386 

Reform — the great question now — Its sacred-j 


A shameful and disgraceful neglect 387 

Yet may prove a blessing, if sanitary laws 




Demonstration, 379 

The importance of knowing the cause of dis 


Prevention better than cure, 

Fatal consequences of a mistake, 

6 population, 

Locali if disease, 

Typhus independent of climate, 383 

All depends on removing filth and moisture, 383 

The ri' . ;e poor 

The cost of preventable disease equal to the 

whole public revenue 

When peualty on the public authorities to 

be exacted, 1384 

Proportion of preventable mortality 384 

Origin of disease, [384ij 

SECTION IX. — Recapitulation — Meteoro- 
logical — Special Terrene causes — 
Greater care n quired in fastgrotc- 
ing Cities — Tracing t/ie Progress 
of the Disease by Earth exposure — 
Inundations — Sanitary Map of 
the City — Application of Principles 
— Locations of Filth and Disease 
the same— Tiw unc resulting from 
the other — In each Ward, with the 
ration to Population — Fever Nests 
and Plague Spots — The mode oJ\ 

spread of the Fever, ;jr*R 

Not of foreign importation 

Meteorological or climatic causes, 

Special terrene causes — Earth exposure, . . 

Streets — Unfilled lots— Open drains, 390 

Manufactories— City interments, 390 

Slaughter-houses, &c. — Damp, crowded filthy 

houses, , 

Public kept in ignorance. 

In all fast growing cities a large proportion ol 


Greatest mortality where no pavements, . 
Mortality not from want of acclimation .. 
No acclimation to filth — To what extent ac- 

To what extent acclintatable, 

The true test of the salubrity of a country,. 
The true meaning of acclimation — The real 


All remediable 

I the progress of the fever from the city 

Into the country, 395 

Effect of inundations, 396 

Why rural districts in other States not BU 

si 1 much, 396 

Why the fever occurred late in some places, 396 
Sanitary Map of the city — Application ot 

our reasoning, 397 

Difficulties in computing the population 398 

City returns not reliable, 398 

Map too small 398 

Total cases of the fever, 398 

Cases from private practice, 399 

^Note — Names of physicians and others who 

reported cases of the fever, 

Cases from public sources — From Charity 

Hospital, 399 

Table R — Population by districts and wards 

Cases and ratios,) 399 

Balance how distributed, 399 

Explanation of Table R., 4i 

Sources of information 41 

Propositions and results, 401 

Population and number of cases in the 4th 

DlSTKICT, 102 

xviii Index to Report on the Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 


Ratios per 1000— Causes 

Want of pavements — Lower lots or ponds,. . 
Three Cemeteries — Earth expo-ure 

Gormley's Basin and canal and manufactories 
Crowding low houses — Slaughter-nouses,. 

let Ward— Causes and proportions 

3d " " " 

5th " " " 

4th " " " 

2d " " " 

Malignity of the disease in proportion to the 

concentration of the causes, 

1st District — Population and cases 

1st Ward — Lynch's liow — Whitney's Pick 


Blocks in Pacanier and other streets, 

7th Ward— Nuisances in, 

2d Ward— Causes, 

4th Ward— Causes 

3d Ward— Fever nests 

6th Ward— Fever nests, 

Causes— 5th Ward— Causes, 

2d District, 

Population and rases.. Ward 2d— Causes, .. 

5th Ward— Causes. 

Fever nests in front of the 2d District de- 

The reason why yellow fever not all the 

And why limited to 60 or 9 J days, 

The 3d Di-trict 

Population and ratios — Cause 

Consequences on the community, 

Cause of insalubrity 

The number of acclimated population dimin- 
ishes the ratio, 

Algier- — Population, ratio and cause, 

Ongin of the fever — How the fever spreads 
from locality to localit y 

Difference in Northern cities, and cause, 

No resisting plain facts, 

"Why all interested, 

The occurrences around us more apt to be 

Proportion of natives and those born else- 
where in New Orleans 



















SECTION X. — Remediate, or Preventive 
MEANS — How far Man can control 
Temperature, Moisture, fyc. — fnfltt 
ioden Houses — Winds— 
Their qualities — Best Pavements — 
Streets — When and how ■ 
Empty Lot.« • Disease. 

J'ririi y— Reme- 

dy — Drainage— i 
closed — Best water, what— . 
icatei — Kind of Houses best. — Influ 

ence of Intemperance, '. . . 415 

Man's influence on temperature, '415 

Do. on a .416 

Actual proof here 411; 

Test — How it ought to be 4 1 7, 

Moisture 4 J 7, 

How removed and remedied, 1417: 

Italian custom— In the East during plague, . . [418 
Why wooden houses bad— Experience else- 
where 410 

Thorough drainage and paving necessary, . .. 419 1 

What constitutes a perfect pavement, J41 9 1 

The city may be made drier than the country, 4-211I 

Proofs of the value of pavements, 420 

Influence on the amount of precipitation,. ..'4<:l! 

Influence of winds, r™ 

Their properties, |4« 

Our influence on the North wind 423 

Small revenue devoted to preserving health, 4-'3 
To forbid turning up the soil in hot weather, 423 

Back yards— Fountains of tilth 424 

Filth removed before decomposition, 424 

And before sunrise -Custom elsewhere, 424 

Bank of river kept clean, 425 

Low lots filled up. 435 

Vacheries and manufactories removed to a 

certain distance 425 

Gormley's Basin filled up and planted,. 425 

Running water in the streets— How efficient, 426 

Production of stagnant waters, 426 

light, *26 

Night soil one of the greatest difficulties, . . 

How remedied, 427 

If nor water closets, 427 

i emo ve gas through kitchen chimneys, 427 

Effect of running water in the streets,. . - 

Swamps to be drained, 428 

Cemeteries in the city to be closed 428 

Plenty of water of the best kind, 429 

Water how impaired 

How purified, 

Town water is town oir, 430 

Surveillance on buildings, 

Direction of houses, -;31 

Only a certain amount of ground to be built 


How dampness of stores to be removed, 

Why certain buildings not to be permitted in 

the thickly built parts of cities, I432 

Influence of social habits, 

Effect of intemperance, 

Proportionate mortality 4:>3 

SECTION XI. — Comparison of New Or 


alty of congregating in Cities — 
highest class of disease in different 
' s produced by it — Proofs of 
high civilization. Effect of Sanitary 
•ires in Louisvilh — Norfolk — 
Williamsburg — Charleston — Sa- 
vannah — Mobile, &(C. — Climattirai 
Parallel with Southern Cities — Vah 
ue of the Mississippi as a & 

L>Cll ■ 1 (tlr.<Oli 

<{i foundation — Vi ra Cm : — 
Jr.-- mo 
AmerL contrasted — ZVt- 

Foundation of all sanitary laws, 

Penalty of congregating in citir-s, 

It is wisdom from past experience,. 



The filthy parts of cities alone subject to yel- 
low fever, 

In Louisville— effect of paving and draining. Iv 
iri Norfolk eflect of paving and draining, 
Wilmington— Delusion ot Bandy soil,.... 

drainage and clearing, 409 

Charleston— Effect of draining and filling up* 439 
No earth disturbance allowed in summer,. . .'I439 

Savannah— Clearing and draining, '. . . . 440 

Why a rainy season not always required for 

sickness where a sandy soil 1441 

Parallel of New Orleans with other Southern! 

cities U 41 

All our filth can be removed 442. 

Attributes of the Mississippi river, .443 

Index to Report on the Sanitary Condition of New Orleans, xix 




Causes of the salubrity of the rural districts 
Mobile— probable humidity, 

" only apparently clean, 

In Flanders, 

Vera Cruz — Triumph of sanitary measures 

ion of the city and its neighborhood 

Civil and military authorities during Mexican 


I^o. of each during American regime 

The mortality of the civil about one-half,. 
Of the military, about one-fourth, 

SECTION XII.— Resume —Propositions 
and Corollaries, 

1st: — New Orleans not sickly per se. 

2d — Mortality not owing to want of acclima- 

Can't acclimate to filth, anywhere, 

3d — Epidemic ci 

4th — 1 he efficient cause of all our epidemics 

5th — Epidemic not importable or contagious, 

6th — Requirements for an endemic, 

7th — A lesser amount required for periodic 

8th — Local causes and local effects, 

9th — Causes of epidemic cholera 

Corollary — 1st— Epidemics controllable, . 

2d — do. of endemics, 

3d — do. of the causes of periodic fever, . . 

4th — do. New Orleans may be made healthy 

5th — do. claims for legal enforcement, 

Covered drains — Slaughter-houses 

Vacheries — Livery stables, 

Privies — Cemeteries 

Disturbing soil — Health department 

Quarantine— Sanitary survey — Record book, 


Health department ordinance — Composition 






Her prosperity alone depends upon health, 450 

Intelligence synonymous with health, 450 

The real causes of our fevers 45J 

All cities improved by sanitary measures ex 

cept New Orleans, 450 

The certain result if proper mejsures 
adopted here 451 

SECTION XIII— Recommendations 451 

Sewerage — Drainage, 452 

Forest growth — Paving, 45'2 

Water works — Shed on the river bank, 452 

Trees planted— Gormley's Basin, 453 

Duties of President, 

of the department, 

Penalty for obstructing inspectors, 

Office records — And books of do, 

Number of inspectors or wardens, 

Tolicenseundertakers. Vidangeries, Sextons, 
Permit from Health Department to author 

ize burial, 

Penalty for infraction, 

Duty of inspectors — Removal of nuisances, . . 
Empty or low lots filled — Cemeteries disused 
Duty of vidangeries — Cemetery certificate, . . 
District physicians — Duties — Qualifications,.. 
Health Department — To examine quarantine 


Duty and report of its physician, 

To publish advice during epidemics, 

Meteorological and cemetery reports pub 

lished weekly, 

Annual report, 



Approximate cost of recommendations for 


Estimate of a mode of raising the means to 
defray the cost of the Recovimcndations, . . 

No additional tax required, 

■'ale of swamp lands, 

Public land from Government U. S 

McDonogh's bequest, 

Tonnage duty, 

Loan from IVlcDouogh"B estate, 





! 6 












Page 3, line 2d, for 26th read 27th. 
" 3, " 5th, for two days read 28th. 
" 4, see Appendix for Dr. AI. M. Dowler's 

" 6, see Appendix for Clark'a and Pash- 

ley's evidence. 
" 7, read Rahaze for Rohanson, in Dr. 

Browning's testimony 
" 8, see Appendix for Dr. Shuppert's'evi- 

" 8, read in evidence of same, 23d for 28th 

" 11, read Josephine for St. Josephine. 
" 14, read where for were, in line 14th. 
" 25, read seven for seventeenth, in line 

" 33, read dammed for darned, in line 10th. 
" 88, read around for aroung, in line 10th. 
" 104, read nauseated for neuseated, in line 

" 215, read Condition for Commission, in 

" 215, read precipitation for precepitation, 

in line 2d. 
" 215, read effluvia for affluvia, in line 11th. 
" 216, read separability for seperability. in 

line 30th. 
" 216, read separation for seperation, in line 

" 217, read separable for seperable, in line 

" 226, read seeds, line 2d. 
" 226, read nourished, inline 8th. 
" 237, read hysrometric, in line 21at. 
•' 216, 14 lines trom top for "passee" read 

" 216, II lines from bottom for "condition '" 

read conditions. 
" 217, 6 lines from top — on margin, for "pos- 

tulata" read probata. 
" 217, 13 lines from bottom for "reasona- 
bly" read seasonably. 
" 218, 17 lines from bottom for " members" 

read numbers. 
'* 224, 6 lines from top — insert not between 

4 'I" and "think." 
" 235, in 4th line from bottom for "thermo- 
meter " read barometer. 

Page 237, 11 lines from top— attach note after 
50.3* "on the 23d after epidemic bad 
declined, and at the very period 
marked for its declination, evidently 
producing it. " 

303, 5 lines from bottom for " produc- 
tions " read production. 

318, in note at bottom for "same" read 
/ am. 

319, 18 lines from bottom after " offensive " 
insert "and the cutting down the bank 
of the river, and spreading the mate- 
rials on the streets." 

321, 9 lines from top for " causing " read 

394, 16 lines from bottom for "lethal" read 

412, 19 lines from bottom for "nature" 
read influence. 

412, 2 lines from bottom for "fellow " read 

419, 15 lines from top for "renewal" read 

423, 12 lines from top after " amount, " in- 
sert of moisture. 

436, 4 lines from bottom for "secured" 
read sewered 

440, line at top for " gradual" read gradu- 

451, in 8th line from top for " monaxysi- 
nal " read m 

453, in 7th line from top after "fifty" in- 
sert of. 

453, omit two lines beginning at " 16th, " 
13th line from bottom. 

459, in 2d line from top for "men" read 

459, 14 lines from bottom for "200 000" 
read 2,000,000. 

460, in 11th line from top for "on the" 
rend as a. 

461, in 9th line from top after "burthens" 
insert respectively. 
For table " H, " read table G. 

485, rend from that of McGuigan's sicken- 
ing instead of with the death of Alc- 











Case 1. — The first case of yellow fever this year in the Charity Hospi- 
tal was that of a man named James McGuigan, who came in on "the 26th 
of May; had been sick four days; was an Irish emigrant from Liverpool; 
had been in the city one week previous to being sick ; had not been at- 
tended by any physician ; died in two days after his admission, with 
black vomit. 

This patient came from Orange street, First District, and had been em- 
ployed on the ship Northampton in discharging said vessel. 

Case 2. — Gerhardt H. Woette, a sailor, born in the Grand Duchy of 
Oldenburg, twenty-five years of age, in New Orleans fifteen days, came 
from Bremerhaven ; was employed on board ship Augusta, from the said 
port of Bremerhaven; came to the Hospital on the 30th of May, 1853, 
being then sick five days; died on the 30th of May, 1853; yellow fever 
with black vomit. 

Case 3. — John Allen, a seaman, born in Scotland, aged twenty-four, 
in New Orleans seven months ; came from Boston ; admitted June 4th ; 
sick since seven days; discharged June 12th. 

Case 4. — Thomas Hart, laborer ; born in England ; aged twenty-five ; 
in New Orleans four months; came from New York; admitted June 5th; 
sick three days; died June 10th, of yellow fever. 

Case 5. — Michael Mahoney, laborer; born in Ireland; aged sixteen; 
in New Orleans four weeks ; came from Liverpool ; admitted June 6th ; 
sick three days ; came from ship Saxon ; died June 7th, of yellow fever. 

Case 6. — Barbara Berg; born in Germany; twenty-three years of 
age ; in New Orleans five months ; came from Havre ; admitted June 6th 
for intermittent fever; died of yellow fever, June 19th. 

4 Testimony of Dr. M. M. Dowler and Mr. Ebbinger. 


Case 1.— The Dr. stated that a man named Kein, living on Gorm- 
ley's Canal, was taken sick on the 6th of May, and died on the 10th. 

The woman, his wife, was taken sick on the 11th, and died on the 15th. 

The Dr. derives this information as to dates from Mr. Ebbinger, who 
was Kein's landlord, and Dan. Hubert, having lost his memorandum book 
about the 15th of August, in which it was noted. The man died with 
black vomit, and his case was clearly and unequivocally one of yellow 
fever. The woman did not throw up black vomit, and the Dr. gave a 
certificate, in both cases, of bilious malignant fever, not wishing to create 
alarm. The Dr. subsequently attended cases in the same square; he saw 
many cases afterwards, as late as the 3d of August, in the same neigh- 
borhood. Has never seen the same individual have yellow fever a second 
time. Knows many instances where unacclimated persons were exposed 
who did not contract it : infers from this that the fever did not subside 
for want of subjects, but thinks it ran its course. Has seen three cases 
this year of recovery from black vomit, out of perhaps fifty. Has no- 
ticed that in cases other than yellow fever a similarity of symptoms pre- 
sented themselves in acclimated subjects. There are several soap facto- 
ries in that part of the town. Has not observed that occupations, except 
where there is exposure to the sun, influence the disease. Had four cases 
of black vomit : one boy of four, one girl of eight, one of eighteen, and 
one married woman of twenty-five years. 


Mr. Ebbinger states that the man named Kein, mentioned by Dr. M. 
M. Dowler, was buried in the Washington Cemetery. Daniel Hubert was 
with Kein when he died. Kein was sick four or five days; died with 
black vomit. Kein's wife was taken sick one week after his death. Mr. 
Ebbinger thinks Kein's sickness occurred early in May. He lived on 
Gormley's Basin, in Mr. Ebbinger's house. Dr. Dowler saw him two 
days previous to his death. This was the first case of fever in the neigh- 
borhood. Kein worked in the swamp at shingle making. Went out at 
four o'clock in the morning and returned in the evening. Not likely to 
have any communication with the levee or shipping. Other persons 
worked in the swamp who remained healthy. Gormley's Canal ordina- 
rily four feet in depth. The drains from certain streets empty into it. 
Kein was a temperate man. 

At a meeting of the Sanitary Commission, held October 24th, Dr. Axson 
made a statement concerning the period of Kein's death : he called upon 
Kein's brother, who stated that Kein died on the 2d of June, and was 
buried on Saturday, the 4th of June, in the Lafayette Cemetery. Kein's 
brother lives with Christian Wiltz, who corroborates Kein's statement as to 
the actual date of Kein's death, (June 2.) Says he is certain of this date 

Testimony of Dr. Meighans and Mr. Farley. 5 

because Kein's brother and children left the house in which these persons 
died immediately after. Kein's brother referred to an almanac and 
showed the date of his brother's death, the 2d of June. 

There is no record of this man's burial or that of his wife on the book 
of interments for the Lafayette Cemetery. The certificate was lost, and 
consequently no entry was made, although it is morally certain that both 
man and wife were buried there. 


Case 1. — Dr. M.'s first case of yellow fever occurred on the 27th or 
28th of May, in Tchoupitoulas street, in a boarding-house kept by Mrs. 
Edwards ; sent the man, who had been in the city ten months, and who 
had black vomit at the time, to the Charity Hospital. 

The second case seen by Dr. M. occurred on the 28th of May, in Race 
street, one door from Tchoupitoulas street, immediately adjoining the 
house of Mrs. Edwards, mentioned above. The locality is filthy and the 
buildings crowded with occupants. 

The third case was on board the ship Evangeline, lying at post 14, 
First District, a laborer who worked on vessels ; he had recently arrived 
here. Drs. Davidson and Rhodes had case on board the Evangeline. 

The Dr. thinks the disease transmissible. The Dr.'s wife had fever this 
year ; she is a Creole and has always resided in the city. 

Has seen three or four cases of recovery from black vomit. Has noticed 
that in crowded localities the fever is most malignant. 

The Dr. had cases in his own house. The first, a man named Henry 
Grattan, five days after, his brother John, who was sent to the Hosptial. 
Then a lad, named Albert Smith, then the Doctor's driver, named Pat- 
rick, then Mrs. Meighan. Only one person in the Dr.'s family escaped ; 
this person was susceptible. 


Bark Siri. — Mr. Farley states that the bark Siri arrived here on the 
10th of May, from Rio. The captain informed him that he had lost his 
wife and two sons in Rio, from yellow fever. 

Ship Rome. — The ship Home, from Rio, arrived here on the 3d of 
May. No vessel from Rio except the Maiy Kendall, which arrived on 
the 25th June, had fever on their voyages. She lost many of her crew. 
The captain's wife died with the disease. She put into Kingston, Ja., 
where she recruited her crew ; there was no sickness afterwards. The 
Kendall lay above the Triangular Buildings. 

1 Testimony of Mr. Clark and Mr. Pashley. 


May 2:Ufr-Schr. Clara Burgess Jefferson. 

June 1st— Brig Hringhorn Kremer. 

" 5th— Bark Plymouth Cohen. 

" 5th— Bark Linda Stewart Slimmer. 

« 7th— Bark Hollander Broome. 

" 16th— Ship Sophia Walker Weston. 

" 17th— Bark Utah Stetson. 

« 22d— Bri" Bernhardine Outhouse 

" 25th— Bark Mary H. Kendall Tolman. 

" 28th— Brig Uranus Church. 

April lst^-Bark Prescott Spear. 

3d — Brig Bernhardine Hanson. 

4th — Bark Escoriaza Pope. 

" 36th— Brie; B. T. Martin Ford. 

" 18th— Bark Martha Allen Burdett. 

" 23d— Bark Jno. Murray Clapp. 

" 24th— Brig Atalaya Nash. 

May 2d— Bark Home Hoffman. 

" 10th— Bark Siri Higgins. 

" 12th— Bark Rhone Carlisle. 

" 17th— Bark Wm. V. Bowen Dyer. 

The above vessels arrived in this port from Rio de Janeiro, from the 
1st of April to the 28th of June, 1853. 


Ship Northampton. — This vessel was loaded by my gang of hands. 
One of the men, named Thomas Hart, was taken sick two days after we 
commenced loading. He lived in the Third District ; was sent to the 
Charity Hospital ; must have been sick about the 1st of June, and died on 
the 8th of June, with black vomit. He doubts if Hart ever passed a sum- 
mer in the city. He was temperate in his habits. 

He did not observe any offensive smell on board ; she had been dis- 
charged and cleansed previous to commencing to load. He resides in 
the Third District. Some of his men were in the habit of riding up in 
the morning, and returning in the evening by the omnibus. 


Ship Northampton. — Mr. Pashley states that the first cases of yellow 
fever seen by him, occurred on board the ship Northampton, direct from 
Liverpool, with between three and four hundred passengers. This vessel 
arrived here on the 9 th of May. On the 10th, hands were sent on board 
to cleanse her; this work was arrested by discovering what they supposed 
to be black vomit in the hospital of the ship. It was understood that 
several persons died on the voyage, and one man, a steerage passenger, 
whilst coming up the river. The ship lay at the first wharf above "the 
steamboat landing, in the Fourth District. Charles Lanness, one of the 
men sent on board to cleanse, was taken sick with yellow fever two or 
three days afterwards. *James McGuigan, one of the steerage passen- 
gers, also took the fever, was sent to the Charity Hospital, and died there. 
The boy of the ship was taken sick. The remark of Dr. Thrope was, that 
the case, had it occurred later in the season, would be considered un- 
doubted yellow fever. 

Of the second gang, employed five days afterwards in discharging the 

1 See first cases in Hospital. 

Testimony of /Jr. Browning. *l 

vessel, several were taken sick ; among them Mr. Pashley's confidential 
man, although he was acclimated. Mr. Clark, foreman of the gang em- 
ployed in loading the ship. A man under his charge, living in the Third 
District, sickened and died with black vomit. Mr. P. describes the water 
used on board as smelling badly, and when emptied from the casks, and 
containing a black ropy sediment. Mr. P.'s wife and child were taken 
sick a few days after this with yellow fever ; the child, nine months old, 
had black vomit, and recovered. 

Can remember six of the hands employed in discharging this vessel, 
who afterwards had the fever. Coleman, one of these laborers, boarded 
subsequently at Conrey's. 

The ship National Eagle lay in the neighborhood of the Northampton ; 
this vessel was bound to New York. She lost, after her departure, so 
many hands from fever, that she was compelled to put into the Capes 
of the Delaware in distress. Many of the passengers were reported sick 
with fever. No other vessel came up in tow with the Northampton, 
neither was she in company with any other at the Pass. The Siri, from 
Rio, lay one-fourth of a mile distant from the Northampton. 

Statement of the Captain of the ship Northampton concerning the previous 
voyage of his vessel. 

The ship left Liverpool on the 24th March for New Orleans, with be-| 
tween three and four hundred emigrants ; six or seven deaths occurred 
among the children during the voyage, from bowel complaint. The first 
death was two weeks out from Liverpool. Has carried emigrants for 
seven years, and considers he had less sickness on that voyage than usual. 
He is well acquainted with yellow fever, having seen much of it in 
Havana and various other parts of the world ; had not a single case during 
the passage. 

A German died off Abaco, with some chronic disease ; was troubled 
frequently with bleeding at the nose. 

Richardson, a hand on board, was taken sick three weeks after the ship 
arrived in port. 

Water used on the voyage was better than that usually obtained in 
Liverpool. The ship was kept very clean. 

There was nothing like black vomit in any part of the ship on her 
arrival here. 

The mate died on her return trip to Liverpool ; sickened after leaving 
the bar ; was sick four days with yellow fever ; no other person con- 
tracted the disease. 


Case 1. — His first occurred on Old Levee street, near the Mint. The 
man's name was Rohanson, a native of Germany, had been in the city 
seven months, first visited him on the 21st June, taken on the 18th June, 

8 Testimony of Dr. W. B. Lindsay and Dr. Shuppert. 

died on the fifth day; turned yellow as soon as dead ; had no communica- 
tion with the shipping; was the first case in the vicinity ; five or six cases 
occurred in the same locality shortly afterwards ; the neighborhood was 
densely populated ; thinks some of these cases may have visited the upper 
part of the city; a case occurred in the adjoining house within five days 
after the first one spoken of, cases followed each other in the same locality 
until the last of June. 


Case 1. — First case occurred on the 13th day of June, in St. John the 
Baptiste street, near St. James, the patient was Mr. Donnell, who was a 
stevedore, and discharged the ship Northampton, which arrived from Liv- 
erpool on the 9th of May, she came direct and lay near the Waterworks. 
It was said that nine persons died with black vomit on board of her, when 
near here, one died after the ship had arrived in the river. Pashley the 
stevedore who discharged the ship, informed Dr. L., that five of his hands 
out of twelve became sick with the fever, five others were taken sick in 
the same house with Donnell a few days afterwards, the first case on the 
fifth day ; these cases were visited by numerous friends. The locality 
rather a clean one, but crowded ; cistern and hydrant water were used. 

Case 2. — Second case Henry Grubbel, St. John the Baptiste street, 
between Orange and Richard streets, sent to the Charity Hospital, 12th 

Case 3 — An ostler, four months in the country, had never been from 
the stable yard in Orange street, no other case seemed to follow the Ger- 
man ostler. 

Dr. Lindsay mentioned the case of Dr. Hughes fifteen miles from Port 
Gibson, who was taken after a carpenter who came from Port Gibson and 
sickened, then a young lady, and one other person besides Dr. H. ; the 
carpenter died. There were two weeks interval between the first and 
second cases. The Dr. thinks the disease milder generally in the country 
than in town, cannot say if the disease is contagious, thinks the weather 
has little effect in producing it. 

A son of Mr. Deacon, a Creole, aged 17 years, had fever this summer. 


Case 1. — Saw a case of yellow fever on the 28th of May, on board of 
the ship Augusta, from Bremen. The Augusta came up in the same tow 
with ship Camboden Castle, which ship stopped at Kingston, Ja. The Au- 
gusta lay opposite the Bull's Head, in the Fourth District, the case was 
that of a sailor who recovered after an illness of fifteen days, he remained 
on board the ship during the time. On the 24th of May, a butcher by 
the nam« of Kelterning, who had resided two years in the city, and wa» 

Testimony of Dr. Lemonier and Dr. Warren Stone. 9 

then living on Chippewa, between Seventh and Eighth streets, with a wife 
and two children, took the disease ; neither his wife or children were 
attacked ; this was his second case. The third case was John Haar, the 
cook on hoard the ship Augusta, (already mentioned) he died on the third 
day with black vomit; on the 27th, three more cases occurred on board 
the same ship, their names were G. Wootte, F. Lowber and Herman Brunt, 
Wootte and Brunt went to the Hospital and died, Lowber remained on 
board and recovered. The ship Augusta was very clean, she had no sick- 
ness until some days after her arrival, was sixty-six days on the passage. 
Dr. S. has seen five cases of recovery from black vomit. Has practised 
in the city two years, Dr. Shuppert thinks his cases were the first in the 
city. The Dr. heard that much sickness occurred on board the Cambo- 
den Castle. 


Case 1. — The first case seen this year of yellow fever was on the 4th 
of July, at the Bull's Head, Religious street, near Celeste, in Mr. Ahern's 
family, saw two cases there, one a boy of thirteen years and subsequently 
his sister, a girl of fifteen. The Dr. does not think these cases were caused 
by importation of fever from abroad, but by the locality. The neighbor- 
hood being wet, without drainage, containing many small tenements, 
crowded with destitute emigrants. 

Ahern's family arrived on the 25th of Dec, 1852, from Ireland. The 
Dr. has not come to the conclusion that the disease is communicable, he 
considers yellow fever rather allied to bilious than to typhoid or typhus. 

Near the last of Sept., Dr. L. attended the Nunnery below the city, one 
of the nuns being sick with yellow fever. This was her second summer 
here. The Dr. is confident she had not in any way been exposed to per- 
sonal contagion, although the disease was epidemic in the neighborhood. 
Thinks quarantine useless with respect to yellow fever. Does not think 
it would spread here if brought from the West Indies. Has known no 
instance in his pratice of recoveiy from genuine black vomit. Knows of 
no instance where the same person had more than one attack of true yel- 
low fever — never has known Creole children from Creole parents, in this 
city, to have yellow fever. Never in his whole practice saw a child under 
ten years of age with genuine yellow fever. Recognizes a peculiar speci- 
fic odor which emanates from yellow fever patients during the latter 


Contagion. — Dr. Stone states his belief to be decidedly against the 
contagious nature of the disease. Saw his earliest cases this year in the 
Charity Hospital. Has known instances where cases coming here from 
the West Indies early in the season, which recovered or died, caused no 
spread of the disease at the time, although at a subsequent period the dis- 

10 Testimony of Dr. S. D. Campbell. 

ease prevailed in the city. Dr. Stone thinks that yellow fever does not 
produce its kind as is the case with small pox, measles, &c. In 1833, the 
lever prevailed in the Hospital ; the nurses generally escaped until late in 
the season, when its progress was more extensive. The Hospital usually 
contains cases brought there early in the season, but the neighborhood 
and vicinity escaped until the disease became epidemic. Ihe epidemic 
influence, or that condition of the atmosphere favorable to the develop- 
ment of the disease, prevailed to a much greater extent than usual, and in 
consequence spontaneous cases arose. The majority of cases in the coun- 
try were spontaneous ones. The Dr. mentioned Mrs. McCausland's case as 
in point. He took pains to inquire, and learned that this lady had not 
seen a sick person anterior to her attack. Heard it remarked that in the 
country animals did not thrive as well as usual this summer. He con- 
siders the poison of the disease analogous to that of other years : there was 
something in the atmosphere which rendered the system more susceptible. 
Thinks there is nothing in the locality of New Orleans more obnoxious to 
yellow fever than any other place under the same influences of climate. 

The Dr. knew cases which came from Baton Rouge ; no fever spread 
from them. One case at Duplantier's, occurred of this character. Many 
cases reported as having been caught from others are proved not to be so 
on inquiry. 

Many old Creoles in that parish secluded themselves entirely and would 
not go out at all ; they seemed to have the disease as fatally as others. The 
Dr. mentions the fact, that frequently portions of families equally suscep- 
tible, and as much exposed as those who had the disease, escaped. Thinks 
that quarantine, so far as yellow fever is concerned, would be perfectly 
useless; it might be serviceable in relation to other diseases. Thinks that 
fever might be brought here without extending, unless there should be 
an epidemic influence. Mentions the case of Miss Lumer, five or six 
squares above Jackson street, in which the patient had not been exposed 
to any fever : thinks the fever generally originates here. 


Case 1. — Dr. Campbell's first case of yellow fever occurred on the 6th 
of June, in Jacob street, between Thalia and Erato; the patient died on 
the 12th; threw up black vomit. The man had been in the country six 
months ; his habits were good ; rarely left the house, and had not been 
exposed to the disease ; lived with a tailor named Bent, who was unaccli- 
mated. Bent's wife had the disease three weeks after. The Dr. inquired 
at the time, and satisfied himself that he had had no communication with 
the shipping. 

On the 14th of June, Dr. C. visited a young German woman, in Jacob 
street, one block nearer the Basin, laboring under fever; from the 14th to 
the 19th, saw five cases in this house ; two of these eases died, the remain- 
der recovered. The men were carpenters. The Dr. ascertained that none 
of them had been exposed to the disease. The dwellings in Jacob street 

Testimony of Dr. Mather and Dr. McGibbon. 11 

are chiefly shanties, built of flatboat materials. Dr. Campbell does not 
thinks the disease communicable. Has seen no instances of recovery 
from black vomit; lias seen many cases among children; no deaths. The 
children were mostly natives. 


Case 1. — The Dr.'s first case occurred at the comer of Tchoupitoulas 
and Orange streets, on the 11th day of June. The man was dead when 
the Dr. arrived ; he was an Irishman, who had been in the city six weeks. 

About the middle of July, was called to see a case on Nayades street. 
Dr. Mather observed a peculiar malignancy in the disease near the corner 
of St. Josephine and Carroll streets, not a single house escaping within 
two squares of that neighborhood : this was the last of July and begin- 
ning of August. The cases terminated generally in from twenty-four to 
seventy-two hours. The houses are built, as a general rule, directly upon 
the ground, of flatboat materials, and were much crowded. Laborers gen- 
erally reside there, those men who work in the swamps, and have noncom- 
munication with the shipping. Has seen no case which he considers a 
second attack of yellow fever. Has seen one case of recovery with black 
vomit, a girl of twelve years of age. Thinks the intemperate more likely 
to die. Among the unacclimated all fevers have assumed the type of yel- 
low fever. Mentioned a case at the Lake end of the Shell Road, the wife 
of the light-house keeper, avIio had not visited the city for eight weeks. 
Her sou died five days previously; does not know if he had been ex- 
posed. Has seen many facts this year -which would induce him to believe 
the fever more contagious than formerly. 


Case 1. — The first cases seen were in the Charity Hospital, (vide Van- 
derlinden's statement.) 

The first case in private practice was Thomas Murray, residing at the 
corner of Bacchus and Fourth streets, on the 24th of June. Six unaccli- 
mated persons resided in the same house, who did not take the fever until 
one month afterwards, say the 23d of July. The fever was very severe 
in tbis locality during the latter part of July. Murray worked in a miik 
stable ; does not think he had any communication with the shipping. 

On the 15th of July, John Cribben was taken with the fever ; his wife, 
son, and sister-in-law, sood ifter. His father and brother, although un- 
acclimated, and residing in the same house, did not contract it. 

An old man and his wife, residing at the comer of Perdido imd Adelaide 
streets, had the fever, although they had no commun.cation with persons 

He has seen no case of fever occurring twice in the same individual. 

12 Testimony of Br, Wood and Dr. Meux. 

Dr. McG-. does not think the disease contagious. He mentioned the 
case of Daniels, who was carried to the Charity Hospital on the 29th of 
May, 1848, and died without communicating it to others in the same 

Has seen no case of fever this year in acclimated persons which assumed 
a yellow fever type. The disease, when fatal, terminated on the fifth to 
the eighth day. Thinks the recently arrived emigrant, if robust, has the 
disease more severely. Has little doubt but that the intemperate fall more 
readily victims to the disease. Has seen many children have the fever : 
has not seen any case of black vomit among negroes : has seen two cases 
of recovery from black vomit. 


Case 1. — Dr. Wood stated that his first case of yellow fever occurred 
on the 9th of June, he saw the man the 12th, and death ensued on the 
14th. He was an Irishman and worked on the levee, a week previous to 
his illness he made a trip on the steamer Dr. Bates as a deck hand. 
Knows no other cases emanating from this, although his wife and others 
of his family who were with him, were unacclimated. 

Case 2. — Dr. Wood's second case was a clerk in a cotton press, it oc- 
curred on the 20th of June. 

All Dr. Wood's early cases were between Magazine and the river, and 
below Felicity Road. 

Dr. Wood believes the disease is not contagious, has never seen a 
second case in the same individual, his cases of remittent and intermittent 
fevers did not assume the appearance of yellow fever, has seen one recovery 
from black vomit, a girl of twelve years of age ; thinks an intemperate 
person more susceptible, and the case more apt to terminate fatally. 

The majority of fatal cases terminated on the fifth day, has never ob- 
served any peculiar odor from yellow fever patients, does not remember 
any fatal cases among the negro population, has seen cases among Creoles 
generally under seven years of age. 


Case 1. — The Dr. saw his first case about the 20th of July, near the 
waterworks, a child, a native of the city ; has seen many cases and one- 
fourth of those seen by him this summer, were children born here. The 
children from ten to fifteen months up to as many years ; some of them 
had passed through several epidemics without taking the disease ; has 
treated this year ten or twelve negroes with the fever. 

Dr. Meux thinks the disease communicable, especially in an epidemic 
condition of the atmosphere ; thinks irregularities of living and dissipa- 
tion, causes creating susceptibility to the disease ; he has seen cases of yel- 
low fever here every year nearly. The Dr. does not consider the disease 

Testimony of Dr. White and Dr. J. B. Henderson. 13 

as necessarily a contagious disease under all circumstances ; lie thinks the 
poison aereal not personal ; thinks fear a powerful agent in promoting sus- 
ceptibility; saw one case of recovery from black vomit ; thinks the disease 
worse in crowded localities. 

In Attakapas, a certain family had the disease, with the exception of a 
lady, who had had it in the city, in 1847. The son came from Last Island 
(on the gulf shore) to visit his father, and died in four days, this occurred 
about the 24th of September. This family had attended the funeral of a 
lady, who died after nursing a man who came from New Orleans ; has 
heard in former years of similar instances, where the disease has spread 
from a. focus ; thinks that a quarantine would be effectual in excluding the 
disease, except in an epidemic condition of the atmosphere. 


Case 1. — Has resided in the city two years. His first cases occurred 
on the 1st July, near Felicity Road, in St. John Baptiste, Pacanier, Reli- 
gious and Second streets. Draymen and stevedores were his principle 
patients. His wife, and self, had the fever this summer. 

Has not seen any cases this year which would induce him to helieve 
that yellow fever was contagious. He has observed a peculiar smell in 
yellow fever patients. 

Madisonville. — Went to Madisonville early in September. The first 
case heard of there was Dr. Jones' child. Mr. Love, of Covington, 
attended the funeral of Captain Smith, in Madisonville; returned to 
Covington, was taken with fever, and died in four days. Fever prevailed 
in Covington previous to this case. 

There is a large swamp near Madisonville ; one-quarter of a mile from 
Captain Smith's was a stagnant pool, which was very offensive. 

In the month of September, the days were warm and the nights cool, 
so much so that fires were comfortable. 

Noticed much electricity ; this appeared to have no influence in pro- 
moting the disease. 

Has seen two cases of recovery from black vomit in private practice ; 
both boys, about 6 and 8 years of age. Knew of six cases of recovery 
in the Charity Hospital ; they were generally middle aged men. Thinks 
the intemperate have less chance of recovery than the temperate. 

In one case of an acclimated subject, suffering with fever, saw no 
symptoms of the disease. Has seen cases of yellow fever in creole chil- 
dren. Observed the peculiar odor spoken of above, in his own person, 
previous to his attack. 


Case 1. — Dr. Henderson states that his earliest case was Margaret 
Russel, residing in Tchoupitoulas street. She was taken sick on the 5th 

14 Testimony of Dr. G. W. Cross. 

of June ; was sent to the Charity Hospital on the 10th, and died on the 
11th with* black vomit. Had seen earlier cases in the hospital, which 
were considered yellow fever cases by some. Dr. H. does not consider 
they were such ; certain symptoms were wanting, such as yellowness of 
the skin ; considered them as cases of gastritis. 

Case 2.— The first case the Dr. saw in private practice, was an Irish- 
man, living on St. John Baptiste street. He was a steamboat hand on a 
Coast packet; had black vomit on the 15th of June. No other persons 
were taken sick in the house until eight or ten days after. The location 
was filthy and crowded with emigrants. 

Case 3. — The third case seen was Miss Baker, who resided on Reli- 
gious street near Race street. She was taken on the 2 2d of June, and 
recovered. Her family were in good circumstances, but their residence 
was surrounded by filthy tenements. Saw but one instance of escape in 
a family were all were susceptible. Knew three cases of recovery from 
black vomit ; all males. Never saw a second case of fever in the same 
individual. Miss Pearsall slept in the same house with Miss Baker; re- 
turned to Terpsichore street, and, ten days afterwards, sickened and died. 
None of the family, or those who nursed Miss Baker, took the disease 
until several weeks after, although they were unacclimated. 

Yazoo. — The first case in Yazoo was a Mr. Humphries, who died after 
a week's illness, on the 1st of September. He was a trader on the river, 
above Yazoo, and might, possibly, have been in Vicksburg. During the 
summer he lived on board his flatboat, three or four hundred yards above 
the Steamboat Landing. 

Case 2. — An old resident, who lived in a warehouse at the Steamboat 
Landing. Goods from New Orleans might have been stored there. The 
disease did not spread from these cases ; but next appeared, simulta- 
neously, in different places, in the town remote from them. J. W. Fetty, 
an early case, died on the 13th ; he was ill one week; had no communi- 
cation with sick persons. The disease appeared on a plantation on the 
river; those remote from it escaped; negroes died with black vomit. 
Dysenteries prevailed in the beginning of the summer. 

The summer in Yazoo was very sultry. Mr. Sessions' plantation, four 
miles below the town escaped the disease ; one case was carried there, but 
it did not spread. 

On the opposite side of the river, three miles below Yazoo — on Dr. 
Mills' plantation — the disease spread, and many cases occurred among 
the negroes as well as whites; many white persons on the plantation 
escaped. The Dr. saw many cases a few miles in the country; from 
which, the disease did not spread. 


Case 1.— Dr. Cross states that his first case occurred near Gormley's 
Basin, about the 20th July. 

The greatest portion of cases treated by the Dr. this year, were in the 

Tsstimony of Dr. Porter and Dr. Win. P. Sunderland. 15 

vicinity of Dryadcs, Market, Julia and St. Mary streets ; and thence, back- 
wards toward the swamp. The deaths occurred most frequently on the 
third and fourth days. Has never seen a second case of yellow fever in 
the same individual. 

Did not observe that occupation had any influence in causing the dis- 
ease ; or, that temperance or intemperance influenced its attacks. 

When on the coast of the Mississippi, he found that the negroes from 
Kentucky and Virginia suffered most severely. The Dr. has known 
cases at the Lake end of the Railroad, which he believes originated 

Dr. Cross states, that there were no cases of fever in the Penitentiary 
of Louisiana, up to the 29 th of September. 


Case 1. — Dr. Porter's first case was on the 28th or 29th of July; it 
occurred in Robinson street ; there were several persons in the house ; 
the rooms were small, ( ten feet square ) five persons in the room, and 
three in bed. At that time fever prevailed exclusively in the city. Dr. P. 
considers the intemperate less likely to recover. 

Dr. P. visited Thibodeauxville the latter part of the season. The 
weather was warm during the day, and cool at night. The fever pre- 
vailed through the neighborhood to the distance of fifteen miles from 
Thibodeaux, without communication with it or with each other. 

The first case in .the neighborhood of Napoleonville was the servant of 
Dr. Kitridge, living one and a half miles distant ; he had never left the 
plantation; is positive the negro had yellow fever, although he saw him 
but once, and then no black vomit had occurred; thinks the negro had 
been sick four or five days. Dr. Kitridge's child was taken. The next 
case seen by Dr. P. was a negro man at Mr. Webb's, six miles below 
Thibodeaux ; there was positively no communication between the patient 
and the sick, except through the medium of physicians. The plantations 
were guarded with much care and strict non-intercouse established. 
Steamboats pass Mr. Webb's and discharge freight; wagons are fre- 
quently sent to town from the plantations. 

Maj. Nelson isolated himself with care, he took the disease notwith- 


Case 1. — His first case occurred on the 10th of June, in the person of 
an Irishman, who had been in the country six months. This man lived 
in Race street, between Tchoupitoulaa and Religious streets ; had been 
sick six days; found the man dead ; had the black vomit. The second 
case was a warehouseman who worked on Tchoupitoulas street; had not 
been exposed to the sun; inquired and learned that he had not been ex- 
posed to the disease, nor had he visited the shipping. 

16 Testimony of Dr. Win. P. Sunderland. 

The next case was a woman in a neighboring house, who was sent to 
the Charity Hospital. (It is believed that this woman was Margaret Rus- 
sell). The Dr. observed that the disease radiated from the locality above 
mentioned in every direction. When it reached St. Andrew street, a 
servant girl, living on that street, was taken with fever, and carried to 
Chippewa street, above Eighth street, amongst her friends ; none took the 
disease from the girl, nor did they have it until it had reached that local- 
ity in its regular progress. Another servant girl, from Chesnut, corner of 
Seventh, visited her friend in the infected district, returned, and two days 
after had the fever. It did not spread from her, nor did other cases occur 
in the neighorhood until two weeks after, when the progress of the disease 
embraced the locality. Many persons who were buried by the corpo- 
ration from this infected district, were carried to the Washington Cemetery, 
the unacclimated persons employed there in burying the dead, did not 
take the disease until it reached the ground in its progressive march. 

Dr. Sunderland saw the first case in Gretna (opposite the upper part of 
the city). A boy had visited his parents who were sick in New Orleans ; 
he returned to Gretna, was taken sick and died. No other case occurred 
until four or five days afterwards. 

Fort Adams. — When the Dr. arrived, there were eleven cases in Fort 
Adams, and entirely among those who took most pains to seclude them- 

Considers fear a predisposing cause ; cannot believe the disease to be 
communicable. With regard to rain, this year was similar to that of 
1847. Mr. Bowen stated to the Dr. that an unusual number of cows 
had died during the summer. The negro race generally had the disease 
lighter. The Dr. gives three cases of recovery from black vomit out of 
twelve. Thinks he has seen this disease in New Orleans every year since 
1845. Thinks it originates here, and that the only difference between 
the fever of this, and previous years is in its malignity. 

Dr. Sunderland was at Fort Adams on the 16th October; there were 
then eleven cases of a mild character. The first case in the vicinity 
occurred one mile from the river, and two miles from Fort Adams. The 
people had not been in Fort Adams for two months previously; thev re- 
sided on a hill ; were poor, and their diet meagre. Three or four died, 
one after the other. The fever must have arisen among them sponta- 
neously, as they had no communication with either the steamboats or the 
town. The next case happened on the Monterico Plantation, six miles 
from Fort Adams, and three from the river. The first case was the wife 
of the overseer ; was pregnant, and could not well leave the house ; she 
told the Dr. she had not left the house for two months previous to her 
attack. This, also, was a high elevation ; the highest in the country ; two 
children, six and ten years of age, next took sick on the same place. 
Forty-three (43) negroes sickened after the children, and then the over- 
seer, who died. Dr. Sheppardi who came from Pickneyville, professionally, 
was the next case. There was no communication between Fort Adams 
and Monterico, at the time the first cases occurred at the latter place. 

Testimony of Dr. S. W. Dalton and Dr. J. J. Kerr. 17 

The first cases in Fort Adams were in the family of a Dutchman, who 
never suffered any of his family to approach the Steamboat Landing. 


Case 1. — Dr. Dalton saw his first case on the first of July; thinks the 
disease of domestic origin. Assisted Dr. Fenner in the examination of the 
first cases which occurred, and ascertained that they had no connection 
with importation ; heard there were undoubted cases of yellow fever in 
May; so stated by Drs. Fenner and Choppin. He next heard of it in the 
neighborhood of St. Mary's Market; early in July, it was at its height in 
that vicinity. Dr. D. thinks the disease not contagious; thinks it com- 
municable, infectious, but not contagious. It may be transmitted from 
house to house. In an ordinarily healthy year it would not spread from 
a sporadic case. A certain meteorological condition of the atmosphere 
is necessary to cause the disease to spread. The fever of this year differs 
from former years in an exceeding expansion of caloric upon the capillary 
system, producing haemorrhage ; did not observe this year any approach, 
to typhoid symptoms ; there was more febrile excitement. Thinks a case 
imported here in ordinary years will not give rise to an epidemic ; thinks 
there is some electrical condition of the atmosphere which gives rise to 
an epidemic. Has seen two or three cases of recovery from what is called 
black vomit. The Dr. thinks the matter ejected was blood which had 
been swallowed. Has seen the disease twice in the same person. At- 
tended a man named Bowman this year for yellow fever whom he had 
attended in 1847, for the same disease; knows a case of the same nature; 
a man named Kavanaugh, who was attended by Dr. Stone ; knew a case 
of a mulatto, who had a second attack after an interval of three weeks ; 
has known unacclimated nurses to escape. In a family named Lyons, four 
were sick ; a brother, who nursed them, escaped ; he was unacclimated. 

The fever this year did not subside for want of subjects, but ran its 
course, the epidemic condition ceasing to exist. Many creole children, 
more than usual, were taken generally between six and nine years of age. 
No children of creole parents were noticed as having the disease ; observed 
a peculiar odor emanating from yellow fever patients ; thinks that crowd- 
ing emigrants into small spaces in this latitude will produce yellow fever. 
Thinks that quarantine, as far as yellow fever is concerned, would be use- 
less ; thinks that emigrant ships should sometimes be quarantined. Every 
person living in the city should have a room including a space of eight 
hundred cubic feet. Thinks that crowded lodgings are one of the prolific 
sources of disease at present existing in the city. 


Case I. — Dr. K.'s first case of yellow fever was in Spain street, in the 
house of a German named Melchert ; there were three cases in one family, 

18 Testimony of Dr. B. H. Moss. 

father and two sons ; the youngest first, the eldest second, the father last, 
who died. The disease was general in the Third District. The Dr. was 
unable to trace cases from house to house. Only some members of fami- 
lies where all were susceptible, took the disease. The gutters m the local- 
ity were generally filthy. Many persons who said they had had yellow 
fever had it again this year; were found to have had it m 1848 or 1849, 
and not in epidemic years. Thinks the fever of this year more malignant, 
but differing in no other way. 


Case 1. — His first case of yellow fever occurred on the tenth of July, 
near Gormley's Canal, in the person of Mrs. Holland. The patient wasa 
German, who had been in the city one year ; was not much in the habit 
of going out of the house ; thinks she had not been exposed to the disease. 
On the 17th, the Dr. saw three cases, all Germans, living near Gormley's 
Basin one of whom died without black vomit. There was no communi- 
cation between these and the above-mentioned. He knew of no cases 
near Gormley's Basin, earlier than the above.. 

Case 2. — His second case occurred on the twelfth of July, the subject 
a Mr. Boyd, a book-keeper, employed in Tchoupitoulas street, but who 
resided on St. John street. On the thirteenth, saw three cases on Tchou- 
pitoulas street; Irish people; two girls and one man. On the fourteenth, a 
case occurred on Hevia street, in a shoe store ; on the same day, a lady on 
Terpsichore street. There could have been no communication with the 
shipping in the latter case. 

Dr. M. thinks it possible that yellow fever may be transmitted from one 
person to another, and refers to the case of Mr. H. R. W. Hill as confirm- 
ing this opinion. Dr. Milano, an Italian, who came from over the Lake, 
passed through the city and the town of Carrollton, on his way to Hill's 
plantation. At this time yellow fever was prevailing in both places. Five 
days after his arrival he was taken sick, and died in five days. Mr. Hill 
was constantly with Milano during his illness, and was present at his death, 
and supported him. Mr. Hill was taken the next day, and died the twelfth 
of his sickness. This was his only exposure, having confined him- 
self to the plantation, nineteen miles above the city, during the summer. 
Bilious and remittent fevers, and dysenteries during the early part of the 
season prevailed among the negroes of Hill's plantation, and some cases ex- 
isted up to the time of his sickness. At this time, Mr. Kenner's son, Living 
on the opposite side of the river, died with black vomit. Mr. Hill's over- 
seer was not much with him during his sickness, but Avas in the room 
when he was laid out : up to this time, (October 19,) has not had the 

Mississippi City, Miss. — Col. Pleyer, of Mississippi City, was taken 
sick on the fifth of October ; threw up something black two days after, 
and died with black vomit. Col. P. had had no commimication with any 

Testimony of Dr. Rushton and Dr. Ridgely. 19 

sick persons, but probably went on board tbe boats from the city, and 
was frequently with gentlemen who came from town. Mrs. Pleyer has 
not yet had the fever. A Mr. Martin died in July, with black vomit, in a 
room below that occupied by Col. Pleyer. 


Case 1. — My first case was a boy of seventeen years of age, living in 
Benjamin street, between Constance and Tchoupitoulas streets, on the 
23d July. He was carried to Jackson street, between Claiborne and Der- 
bigny, the house of his brother ; at this time there were no cases of yellow 
fever in the locality to which he was carried ; five days after, his brother's 
wife contracted the disease, and two days more, his brother likewise ; the 
former died with black vomit. 

Dr. Milano came to Mr. Harry Hill's house, above Carroll ton, was 
takeu sick, having passed through that town on his way, and died with 
black vomit. Within twenty-four hours after his death, Mr. Hill was 
taken, and died in five days with black vomit. Mr. Hill had not been 
exposed in any other way to the disease than by contact with Milano. 

Mr. Leech, who was the overseer on Waggaman's plantation, visited a 
house on the opposite side of the river; Avas exposed in no other way; took 
the fever and died. His brother, who had never been in the vicinity of 
the sick, visited him, and took the fever five days after. 

Two negroes, who assisted in burying him, died with the fever. The 
yellow woman who nursed him had the fever also, but recovered. Several 
negroes died on the same plantation about this period with congestive 

Dr. Rushton thinks the disease contagious; thinks so in consequence 
of Mr. Hill's case; he recollects a case in 1833, which confirms this 
opinion : Mrs. George came to the city from Plaquemines, spent a few 
hours here, returned to the country, and died in a few days. The fever 
prevailed here at the time ; several acquaintances, living in the house to 
which she returned, had the fever. Dr. R. thinks the disease imported 
this year, and identical with the African fever; thinks it doubtful if it ever 
originates in this place ; thinks an efficient quarantine would be effectual 
in keeping it out ; has known fever to attack those who previously had 
bilious remittent and intermittent fevers, and has known those diseases to 
follow ; every case of fever the Dr. has seen this year among acclimated 
persons has assumed the typhoid form. Thinks the intemperate have the 
fever more severely than the temperate. Black vomit is sometimes 
thrown up in gastric affections. 


Case 1. — The captain of the steamship Daniel Webster was the first 
case seen by the Dr. ; it was a slight one ; the vessel had been in port 

20 Testimony of J. R. S. Zehender. 

three or four days from Aspinwall or Nicaragua ; the Captain was unwell 
previous to his arrival ; did not learn if there was any yellow fever in the 
port from which they sailed ; knows of no other case occurring on board 
this vessel. 

The second case was at Mrs. Filkins' boarding-house in Magazine street ; 
this was also a slight case ; he was a steamboat carpenter ; does not know 
if he had been exposed to the disease. 

The third case was a barkeeper, boarding in Magazine street, also, a 
young man who had no intercourse with the shipping. 

The next case was the wife of a beer bottler in Religious street; this 
was ten days subsequently ; this case died with black vomit. Saw three 
cases near Gormley's Basin, from the 20th July to the 20th August; saw, 
during the season, four or five cases of bilious remittent fever ; they did 
not assume the type of yellow fever. Yellow fever, this year, late in the 
season, frequently assumed a typhoid character. 

Four unacclimated persons in the Doctor's family escaped the fever 
entirely ; does not think the disease contagious. Has practiced here since 
1831, and has seen cases of yellow fever every year; thinks it decidedly 
of domestic origin. Had two servant girls in the family ; one had it, the 
other escaped; his family escaped; his wife was born here. The Dr. 
had the fever in 1833 ; had one case of black vomit this year which re- 
covered ; saw eight or ten cases during the summer ; death ensued gen- 
erally on the fifth day; convulsions usually terminated the fatal cases 
among children ; saw no cases among children born of Creole parents ; 
those of American parentage more susceptible than usual. 

Never noticed any peculiar smell in yellow fever patients ; thinks he 
noticed an unpleasant smell in the atmosphere; observed bubbles and 
much green matter in the gutters and stagnant pools; sees the same 
thing every year. The Dr.'s daughter, then eight months old, had yellow 
fever in 1833. 


May 22d, 1853. — The first well marked case I saw— Jean Trahen, 
aged 32 years, married— was on Third street, between Rousseau and 
Levee streets, Fourth District. The patient had been residing more 
than one year in the city ; of sober habits ; worked as a cabinet- 
maker. He assures me he never went among the newly arrived 
emigrants, or on board of any ship for months previous. This 
patient had haemorrhage from the gums and nose ; became yellow ; 
recovered very slowly. 

June 3d.— The second case, on Live Oak street, between Jose- 
phine and St. Andrew. Patient, three years in the city ; had never 
been ill previously. No haemorrhage, but became yellow on the 
fifth day ; recovered. 

June 22d.— Third case, on Sixth street, between Live Oak and 
Jersey streets ; a female, two years residing in the city. Hemor- 
rhage from bowels ; recovered slowly. 

Testimony of Dr. Fenner. 21 

July 12th.— A German girl, aged 16 ; resided on Pleasant street, 
between Chippewa and Fulton; seven months in the city. Had 
not been among newly arrived emigrants, nor among sick persons. 
On the 13th, hsemorrhage from the bowels ; died on the 17th ; 
black vomit. Three members of this family died, all with black 

From this date, the disease spread with fearful rapidity. The 
most cases which terminated fatally were in the unpaved and unim- 
proved streets, and, particularly, in the small over crowded rooms oc- 
cupied by emigrants. 

I attended more than 300 persons during the epidemic ; and have 
practised in the Fourth District during the last twelve years. 


The first case of black vomit that occurred, happened in one of my 
wards, at the Chanty Hospital, on the 28th of May; and, although so 
very early in the season, it excited my apprehensions, and caused me to 
inquire whether anything like yellow fever had been seen by others. 
On the same day I found another case in my wards that bore a strong 
resemblance to yellow fever. I then commenced a scrutinizing investiga- 
tion ; being well aware that if the facts and circumstances were not then 
ascertained, it would be vain to search for them after the lapse of even a 
few months. Wherever rumor had pointed to the existence of a case of 
yellow fever or anything like it, I at once repaired in person to the spot, 
or sought the attending physician for the purpose of getting the most 
authentic information. I shall now proceed to give the first cases, some- 
what in the order of their occurrence as to date, and state all the attend- 
ant circumstances as far as I could ascertain them. 

The disease made its first appearance among the crew of the ship 
"Augusta," which arrived here direct from Bremen, on the 17th day of 
May, and took position at the foot of Josephine street, in the Fourth 
District. On inquiry, I learned that this ship brought over 230 European 
emigrants, who enjoyed good health on the voyage, having only lost two 
children, which died of diarrhoea. The vessel was out fifty-two days, 
passed on the south of Cuba, but did not approach more than thirty-five 
or forty miles of that island. The emigrants arrived here in good health, 
remained but one clay, and then proceeded up to the West. The ship 
Augusta was brought up from the mouth of the river by the same tow- 
boat that brought up the " Camboden Castle," a British ship, direct from 
Kingston, Jamaica. On the passage up the river there was free commu- 
nication between the two ships across the towboat. 

Having heard there was a great deal of yellow fever at Kingston, and 
that the " Camboden Castle" had there lost her captain and several of 
her crew with that disease, I took occasion to call on the consignee, in 
company with Dr. Dalton. We there had the good fortune to meet with 
the captain of the vessel, who was just clearing her for departure, and 

22 Testimony of Dr. Fenner. 

politely gave us the following information relative to his vessel and 
yellow fever : 

Memorandum of the " Ship Camboden Castle: 1 — Captain Chaplin of 
the ship " Camboden Castle," says he entered on duty as captain ot this 
vessel at Kingston, Jamaica, on the 1st of May last, the late Captain 
McDonald having a short time previously died there of delirium tremens, 
at private lodgings— says there was a great deal of yellow fever "at that 
time among the shipping at Kingston, and the Camboden Castle had lost 
seven of her crew by that disease. This vessel had been m that port six 
or eight weeks— was last from Newport, Wales. Says he obtained seven 
new sailors to supply the places of those who had died— they were Eng- 
lish and American, and he thinks they were unacclimated, though he 
cannot assert this positively. He sailed from Kingston, in ballast, for 
New Orleans, on the 2d day of May. Says that before leaving Kings- 
ton his vessel was thoroughly cleansed, and well springled with chloride of 
lime, to guard against the danger of sickness at sea. Says he arrived at 
the Balize on the 16th of May, and at New Orleans on the 17th, took 
position at post 27, (which is in the upper part of the First District, 
nearly opposite Robin street.) The ship "Augusta" was brought up the 
river by the same towboat that brought up the " C. Castle," one on each 
side, and there was free communication between the two ships, across the 
towboat. Captain Chaplin says there has been no case of fever on his vessel 
since he left Kingston, either at sea or since he has been here.. He is now 
loaded with cotton and will leave this evening. — (riven June 8th, 1853. 

Case 1. — On the 23d of May, Dr. Schuppert was called on board the 

ship Augusta, to see G. S , a sailor, aged 21, whom he found laboring 

under symptoms which he supposed indicated gastro-duodmitis — skin 
hot and dry, pulse 100, violent headache, pains in the back and limbs, 
tongue coated, breath foetid, nausea and vomiting of bilious matters. 
On the fifth day his skin and eyes turned quite yellow. He recovered, 
and was discharged on the fourteenth day. 

N. B. — It will be shown presently that the first case that entered the Charity Hospital must 
have been attacked on the same day of this. 

Case 2. — On the 25th of May, another sailor on the same ship was 
attacked with symptoms similar to the first, though more violent. He 
died on the 30th, in a state of delirium. Soon after death the body 
turned yellow, and there were ecchymoses in the dependent parts. No 
haemorrhage before death. No post mortem examination allowed. 

N. B. — It will presently be shown that another case, about half a mile off, and having no con- 
nection, was attacked on the same day as this. 

Cases 3 and 4. — On the 27th of May, two more sailors were attacked on 
the same ship, and with the same symptoms. One of them recovered ; the 
other, G. Woetle, was sent to the Charity Hospital, and died on the 30th 
of May. He did not throw up black vomit before death. I witnessed 
the post mortem examination of this case. The body was yellow ; lower 
parts livid. The stomach contained about two ounces of black vomit. 

Testimony of Dr. Fenner. 23 

Case 5. — H. Bruntz, aged 21, on the same ship, Augusta, was attacked 
on the 30th of May. Had pains in the head, back, legs and epigastrium, 
but without nausea or vomiting; pulse full and strong, face and eyes 
injected, eyes shining and prominent. On the third day, the eyes began 
to turn yellow. On the fourth day, he was carried to the Charity Hos- 
pital, where he died on the evening of the 7th June. Autopsy on the 
morning of the 8th. The body was yellow ; stomach contained about 
two ounces of black vomit and a small worm ; liver of a bronze color, 
parts of it yellow. 

Case 6— W. K, a butcher, aged 26, had lived in New Orleans one 
year ; resided on Chippewa street, Fourth District, three squares from the 
river and eleven squares above the ship Augusta ; had no connection with 
this ship that could be ascertained; was taken sick on the 25th of May, 
with high fever, severe pains in the head, back and limbs, great thirst, 
tongue coated, costiveness, &c, &c, Dr. S. had him copiously bled, and 
ordered an active cathartic. On the following day, petechia? appeared 
over the body, but chiefly on the extremities, haemorrhage from the nose 
and gums, bowels torpid, skin and eyes slightly yellowish. Croton oil 
and strong enemata had to be used before the bowels could be moved. 
When they were opened, the evacuations were dark and very offensive. 
At the same time he vomited a large quantity of black matters. The 
bleeding from the gums continued for several days, and the skin became 
quite yellow. The haemorrhage and petechia? gradually disappeared, and 
he was discharged cured on the 12th day. 

Memorandum of the Ship Northampton.— Captain Reed says, that on 
his voyage from Liverpool to New Orleans, last spring, he brought three 
hundred and fourteen emigrant passengers, and arrived here on the 10th 
of May ; that he passed to the North of Cuba, not nearer than fifty miles, 
and having fine winds, he passed along there quite rapidly : that there 
was not much sickness on board ; there were six deaths, four children and 
two adults ; the former died of bowel complaints : one of the adults from 
haemorrhage of the nose ; says the emigrants all left his ship within three 
days after arriving here. Captain R. says his ship was in better order, as 
to cleanliness, when he arrived here than most vessels ; that on the voyage 
she was swept every day, washed three times a week, and fumigated twice 
;i week witli burning tar; says there was no occasion to use the two 
rooms called " the Hospital," as such, and they were filled with square 
rigging, stores, &c. ; says he left here for Liverpool with a load of cot- 
ton, on the 14th of June; that during his entire stay here he had but 
one case of fever on board his ship, and that was a boy, who was attacked 
on the 10th of June, and was attended by Drs. Austin and Thorp, who 
pronounced the case yellow fever. He recovered. That after leaving 
here on the 14th of June, his mate was attacked with yellow fever, and 
died on the 18th. The Captain was attacked on the 20th, but very 
lightly, and was never confined to bed ; says he had had yellow fever 
before in Havana ; says he recollects the man James McGuigan ; that he 
came over with him in May last as passenger, steward or cook, and was 

24 Testimony of Dr. Fennev. 

numbered among the crew of the vessel ; says he left the ship with the 
passengers, but thinks he went into the employ of Mr. Parshley, and was 
engaged in discharging her when he was taken with yellow fever ; heard 
of his death before he left in June. 

Yellow Fever on Board Ship Niagara. — I am indebted to Mr. John 
0. Woodruff, ship agent, on Magazine street, for the following facts, 
which were furnished by his clerk, Mr. Moulton, on the 7 th of July, 

"The American ship Niagara arrived here on the 30th of April, direct 
from New York ; took position first at post No. 3, near the foot of St. 
Joseph street. Afterwards moved up to post 26, where she was laden 
with cotton, and left for Liverpool on the 4th of June. Had no sickness 
up to this time. On the morning of the 5 th she was at the mouth of the 
river, where she was detained two days getting over the bar." 

" On the morning of the 8th she got outside, and the Captain, Liver- 
more, telegraphed Mr. Woodruff that 'he was quite sick and had a 
doctor to see bim.' In the evening Mr. W. replied by telegraph, that if 
he was much sick he had better return to the city, and let another 
master be sent to take charge of the ship. This message was not 
received, and the ship set sail. The next we hear of this vessel was 
through one that went into Galveston, the captain of which reported 
that he had spoken the ship Niagara, and was informed tbat ' the captain 
had died of yelloio fever on the 10th of June, and two men on the \lth ; 
one more case on board." 1 This was about the 30th of June. Heard 
nothing of her since." 

N. B. — It must be remembered that the ship laid in the immediate vicinity of the " Camboden 
Castle," "Saxon" and "Harvest Queen." 

We will now proceed with the cases at the Charity Hospital. 

Case 8. — John Allen, a Scotchman, aged 24 ; had resided in the city 
two years, with the exception of two months last summer spent on a 
trip to Boston. Never had yellow fever ; was admitted into ward 1 7 on 
the 4th of June, then sick seven days, and was discharged cured on the 
12th. This young man was in one of my wards, and I had no hesitation 
in pronouncing the case yellow fever the first time I saw him. 

I learn from Dr. Benedict that this young man slept at No. 17 
Religious street, but worked on the Levee. He told me he was engaged 
for nine days immediately before he was taken sick, in loading the ship 
"Harvest Queen" with cotton. This ship laid at post No. 26, nearly 
opposite Robin street, in the upper part of the First District, and left 
here for Liverpool about the 31st of May. 

P. S.— Nov. 18th.— I learn from Dr. Benedict that Allen is still living, and has had no other 
attack of yellow fever this summer. 

The ship " Harvest Queen" laid very near the " Camboden Castle," 
but Allen said he had not been on board of the latter vessel. At first he 
gave a somewhat different statement, when his mind was confused, but 
when entirely relieved he stated as above. 

Testimony of Dr. Fenner. 25 

Case 9. — Michael Mahony, Irish laborer, aged 16, from Liverpool, four 
weeks on the ship " Saxon ;" admitted into Hospital, ward 19, Dr. Haile, 
June 6th ; then sick three days ; died on the 7th ; body turned yellow ; 
large quantity of black vomit, with sediment like coffee-grounds, in the 
stomach; liver yellowish. This young man had not been able to find 
employment in the city, and was allowed to sleep on board the Saxon 
every night. 

I called on the consignee of the ship Saxon, Mr. Giffney, and ascer- 
tained the following facts : " The ship Saxon, Captain Crosby, from 
Liverpool, direct, arrived at New Orleans on the 10th of May, after a 
long passage, brought Irish emigrants ; took position at post 27, in the 
immediate vicinity of the Camboden Castle. Has had no sickness on 
board since the vessel arrived here, excepting the case of the boy 

At Algiers, four squares from the river, and the same distance from the 
railroad, lived Anthony Howe, whom I visited in company with Dr. Du- 
mont, an intelligent French physician, residing and practicing in Algiers 
since 1847, and who was in attendance on Howe in his illness. Howe is 
a day laborer ; has lived in Algiers the last three years, and has never had 
yellow fever before ; says that for fifteen days before he was taken sick he 
was engaged in unloading the ship Jas. Titcomb, which had railroad iron. 
This ship was direct from England, and was lying at Slaughter House 
Point, in Algiers ; after working about a week on the vessel, she was re- 
moved to the steamship landing at Lafayette ; Howe still working on board, 
taking in ballast. She lay there three days, and was again taken back to 
Slaughter House Point, where Howe finished working on board. On June 
sixth, having some business in Jefferson City, a municipal corporation, ad- 
joining Fourth District ; Howe walked up there, a distance of at least two 
miles. In this walk he passed through the district where the first fever 
cases appeared ; was much fatigued by it ; on the seventeenth of June, 
the day following, was attacked with chill, soon followed by hot fever, 
pains in head &c; sent for Dr. Dumont. At this time, Dr. D. did not 
regard his case as one of yellow fever ; but now thinks it, and the first 
case in Algiers. Howe had haemorrhage from nose, turned yellow, and 
was sick fourteen days. Not long after Howe fell sick, his wife and child 
were taken, but both recovered. On June 26th, in the same house with 
Howe, but occupying a different room, a man named Gill was taken sick; 
Dr. Dumont saw him, but did not consider his a case of yellow fever ; Gill 
threw up no black vomit, but turned yellow. 

About the time these cases were happening, a Swede, living in the next 
house, was attacked with fever, and died ; soon afterwards, a Mrs. Nelson, 
in an adjoining house, fell sick with fever, and died of black vomit. 
Three of her children were also attacked, and one died. Dr. Dumont 
says the disease now spread from this one spot throughout the entire vil- 
lage of Algiers. Howe stated that during his sickness there had been 
scarcely any communication with his family by any of these persons. On 
the 25 th and 29tii of June, Eliza Lacey and Rose Turner, two Irish girls, 

2G Form of Circular. 

who had lived in Algiers six and nine months, were admitted into the 
Charity Hospital, and both died. < , 

Dr. Langenbacker, resident surgeon in Luzenberg Hospital, Third Dis- 
trict, saw his first case of yellow fever in that District on the fifth of July, 
on Moreau or Victory street, between Desire and Elmire streets. It was 
the wife of a tailor, German by birth ; she recovered ; and a day or two 
after the husband was taken with fever and died, throwing up black 
vomit. Shortly after his death, seven other cases happened in the same 
house among the inmates, who were all Germans, and living together ; 
the house was crowded and filthy. They had all arrived here in the 
spring previous. 


Please famish to the Sanitary Commission of New Orleans, any informa- 
tion you may possess with regard to the following subjects, adding 
such other particulars, as you deem useful. 

Received 1853. Answered 1853. 

Answer received 1853. 

I.— With regard to the locality, concerning which you can report, • 

The name of the locality is ' 

Its limits and boundaries are 

The surface soil is (state whether sandy, clayey or calcareous) 

What kind of drinking water is used in your neighborhood, specifying whether well, cistern or 
spring water, and whether freestone or limestone 

There (has or has not) been recently extensive clearing of lands in the vicinity, or disturbance 
of the soil from the digging of wells or canals, making levees, improving roads, draining or 
paving of streets or any other upturning of the soil 

State its position with regard to rivers, bayous, swamps, marshes, stagnant lakes or pools of 
water, &c 

State its condition as to drainage, does the water run oft freely or does it accumulate, and if so, 
how near your place ? 

II.— As regards the meteorology of your locality. 

Please furnish if practicable n detailed statement of the meteorological observations of your 
neighborhood for the entire year, it' this cannot !><• obtained Btate :is nearly as possible the con- 
dition of the weather as to dampness or dryness, the temperature whether hot or cold, whether 
very hot in the sun, or cool in the shade, the prevalence of rains and fogs, the electrical state 
of the atmosphere as evinced by the occurrence of thunder, lightning, &c.,and the prevalence 
and direction of winds during the existence of the fever, and for a month or two previous 

III.— Please state if you have observed anything remarkable in the Ani- 
mal or Vegetable Kingdoms, prior to, or during the epidemic, such as 
the blighting of fruit, the inordinate prevalence of flies, mosquitoes, 
&c, the death of animals, or the unusual occurrance of mould, statins 
its color. 

Form of Circular. — Continued. 27 

IV.— Give an approximate estimate of the population of your town or 
place, previous to the commencement of the epidemic. 

Whites, over 10 years, Males 

Do. do. do. Females 

Do. do. do. Both 

Do. under do 

Total Whites 

Of whom are natives of the place 

Do. do. do. of the United States 

Do. do. do. of Foreign countries 

Stating of what Countries 

Number of colored 

V.— Fill np the following blanks of deaths from yellow fever. 

Whites, over 10 years, Males 

•Do. do. do. Females 

Do. do. do. Both 

Do. under do , 

Total Whites 

Of whom are natives of the place 

Do do. do. of the United States 

Do. do. do. of Foreign Countries 

Stating of what Countries 

Number of Colored 

VI. — Furnish the same information with regard to the cases of Yellow 

Whites, over 10 years, Males 

Do. do. do. Females 

Do. do. do. Both 

Do. under do 

Total Whites 

Of whom are natives of the place 

Do. do. do. of the United States 

Do. do. do. of Foreign countries 

Stating of what Countries. 
Number of Colored 

VII. — Early cases. 

Give the date at which your first case of yellow fever occurred, with as many particulars thereof 
as possible 

Give the same as far as practicable of the next ten, fifteen or twenty cases 

Had any of these cases been in a locality where yellow fever was prevailing? 

Are any believed by you to have arisen from the handling of goods, clothing, &.c, or from direct 

intercoxirse with other cases? 

Do you know of any case which appeared to have originated spontaneously without even the 

suspicion of intercourse with other cases of the disease? 

If you can trace the spread of the early cases of the disease from house to house or from person 
to person; or, their relations to any local cause of disease — such as, vicinity to streams, ponds 
or swamps, or, the direction of the wind — please do so 

VIII.— Social condition. 

What classes of your population, with reference to their personal and social habits — whether 
temperate or intemperate, occupying isolated dwellings or crowded lodgings, have suffered 
most from this disease— both with regard to attacks and mortality? 

IX.— Character of the Epidemic. 

Give the prominent symptoms, progress, duration and termination of the cases occurring under 

your observation 

In what proportion of the cases was there black vomit? 

Do. do. do. do. yellowness of skin ? 

Do. do. do. do. Hemorrhage? 

Did other types of fever prevail at the same time ; or, did all assume the type or peculiarity of 

the prevailing epidemic 1 

28 Testimony of Mr. Gourlay and Dr. James Jones. 

Assuming the propagation of the disease from exposure— either to an infected atm ° 6 P^ er k e ' l ° 
personal communication with the sick, or contact with goods or clothing either 01 rue b u*. ui 
transmitted from a locality considered infected : what time intervened between tnc saiu ex- 
posure and the appearance of premonitory symptoms, and also the developement 01 uie ur- 

ease ?. 

Do you regard the epidemic as tine yellow fever? 

Have you ever seen this disease before? 

If you have, state where ? and when ? - - 

Please state the whole number of cases of black vomit which you have seen 

Also, number of recoveries thereafter - -- \~"".\ IZ'JhZIZJit 

State the number of cases alledged to be the second or third attacks ; and the evidence tnereor. 

State" as"neariy 'as* po's's'ibie, 'the" number of persons attendant on the sick or otherwise exposed 
to its possible causes, and liable thereto from never having had it, have entirely escaped during 
the epidemic 

[Official.] H. D. BALDWIN, 

Secretary Sanitary Commission. 



Madisonville, La. — Arrived in Madisonville on the 30th August, 
from New Orleans ; went to remain in the family of Dr. James Jones. 
Dr. J.s' daughter was taken sick on the 21st of August, and Mrs. Smith, 
a neighbor, on the same day. 

The residence of Dr. Jones was near the wharf, and the children 
frequently amused themselves upon it. 

A schooner from New Orleans having on board a man sick with 
fever, arrived at the wharf eight or ten days previous to the attack of 
Miss. Jones ; the wharf is about thirty yards from the house occupied 
by the family. Miss. Jones died with black vomit. 

Captain Smith, who resides one-quarter of a mile distant from Dr. 
Jones, and whose children were also in the habit of playing on the 
wharf, and of visiting Dr. Jones' family, had two of them taken three 
days subsequent to the attack of Miss. Jones. These were the first 
cases which occurred in Madisonville. 

A Mr. Terry, who resided some distance from Madisonville, at a 
place called Pine Grove, visited New Orleans, and returned on the 
20th August ; was taken sick on the 22d and died with black vomit. 
The black woman who nursed him was taken sick on the 7th of 
September, had black vomit and recovered. Mr. Terry sickened on 
the 10th, and died with black vomit. Mr. Sherman's child, aged two 
years, sickened on the 13th, and recovered. He was taken on the 2Sth, 
and died with black vomit in six days. Dr. Jones' firmly removed 
from Madisonville into the Piney Woods. The seamstress of the 
family was taken sick two weeks after removal, and recovered. 


Case 1. — Dr. Jones' first case on the 15th July ; saw others pre- 
viously ; his was a gentleman living in Camp street, a few doors above 

Testimony of Dr. Thomas Cottman. 29 

St. Joseph street. Dr. Jones has always noticed a peculiar odor in 
yellow fever patients, never noticed the same smell in other fevers. 

Has several reasons for believing the fever of this year to be conta- 
gious, or communicated from one person to another. His mind is not 
quite made up on the subject. His own family consisted of twenty 
unacclimated persons ; had one case only in the family after their re- 
moval to the Piney Woods. Is not certain whether his child took the 
fever from the sick sailor or the vessel. 

Has seen the disease carried over to Madisonville in former years 
without spreading ; thinks there is a difference in type in the fever 
of this year; the disease of former years more paroxysmal, more 
secondary fever this year, and more disposition to typhus. In several 
fatal cases the course of the disease was very rapid. 

The majority of cases terminate on the seventh or eighth day ; 
knows of ten cases of recovery from black vomit in the Charity Hos- 
pital, these were adults. 

Two cases of recovery occurred in private practice ; these were 
children ; cannot say that more children have been attacked this year ; 
but they have had the disease more severely. Heard Mr. Harper 
give an account of Terry's case ; Terry, who was a resident of Pine 
Grove, came to town during the epidemic, was taken sick on his re- 
turn, and died with black vomit. The nurse who attended had black 
vomit and recovered ; his wife took it, and died with the black vomit ; 
then his grandchild, who recovered ; then his step-son, who died. Dr. 
Jones' servant also took the fever in Madisonville. 

Dr. J. says that the fever of this year indicates characteristics ex- 
hibited by that of no previous year ; yellowness after death is one of 
them. Thinks favorably of quarantine as an experiment ; thinks the 
fever of this year may have been exacerbated by the introduction 
of cases from abroad ; there may be black vomit and no yellow fever. 
Did not notice that it was more lenient in one portion of the city than 
another; it was more so in Madisonville. Dr. Jones freely concurs 
with others in the opinion that crowded localities, want of cleanliness, 
&c, will promote susceptibility to the disease ; knows of no instance 
of a second attack in the same individual. Has attended upon some 
who considered themselves acclimated by long residence or by being 
born here, and who had passed through previous epidemics, who had 
the fever this year. 

A remarkably singular feature is a second attack or relapse, after an 
interval of a week ; has seen cases of transmissibility in typhus, never 
knew a case of typhus occur twice in the same individual ; knows of 
no instance of insanity having been produced by quinine. 


Donaldsonville, La. — Case. 1 — Dr. Cottman has seen the yellow 
fever at Donaldsonville, since 1830, nearly every year, in the month of 

30 Testimony of Dr. Thomas Cottman. 

September. In the country it is first seen in densely populated 
places, and is mostly confined to the white population. The first 
cases this year occurred about the 1st of August ; the first case seen 
by the Dr. was a Frenchman who arrived from France last spring; 
saw him on the second day of his illness, he died with black vomit on 
the fourth day; he was a man who was active and took much exercise. 
On the 20th of August, four or five cases occurred in different parts of 
the town, no communication had taken place ; this locality was thickly 
settled with Creoles; there is no reason for supposing that any of these 
persons had communicated with the city. Boats from the city arrived 
three or four times daily, but the landing is in a different part of the 
town from where the disease appeared, and no case occurred near 
the landing up to the 1st of October. No cases of fever arrived on 
board from New Orleans, prior to the 15th August. No cases occur- 
red in the public houses, although people from the city lodged in 
them ; the servants were generally white and many of them had the 
fever in 1852 ; the fever was severe in Donaldson ville in 1852, more 
so than in 1853. 

The weather was pleasant during the summer; no mould observed ; 
heat not as oppressive as last year ; there was no belief either this or 
last year, that the fever was other than of domestic origin; negroes 
are not very susceptible to the disease, knew of but two fatal cases 
among negroes this year, both had black vomit ; has seen creole 
children of creole parents have fever; one Creole child died of black 
vomit, only five days old. 

The hospital at Donaldsonville received twenty cases per day ; only 
three deaths occurred in it during the season. Dr. Cottman had 
fever in 1837, and again in 1853 ; does not remember to have seen 
similar instances of second attack in the same person ; has never 
seen any thing in yellow fever to induce him to believe in its conta- 
giousness ; observed nothing peculiar in the animal or vegetable 
kingdom this year. 

Dr. Cottman noticed that delirium frequentty appears in persons who 
have taken quinine; has never seen hiccough when quinine has not 
been administered; the intemperate and habitual frequenters of grog 
shops about Donaldsonville, have not had the fever this year; ob- 
serves always a peculiar smell in yellow fever ; could detect a case 
with his eyes closed. Ten or twelve Kentucky mule drivers came to 
Donaldsonville and remained during the epidemic ; remittent and inter- 
mittent fevers prevailed among them ; they occupied the same room 
and slept two in the same bed, in a house where there was yellow 
fever, and two deaths from it ; only one of these men took the yellow 
fever, his bed-fellow had intermittent only. 

Dr. Cottman mentioned that the settlement at New River, twenty 
eight miles from the Mississippi, was invaded by yellow fever, and one 
entire family died with it. 

These people had no communication with the coast or New Orleans. 

Testimony of Andreio Gengry and George A. Pike. 31 


Donaldsonville, La. — Donaldsonville consists of about twenty- 
squares, each three hundred feet each way, and intervening streets 
sixty feet wide, and contains about two thousand inhabitants; it is well 
drained, and has large canals to carry off the water quickly, so that 
it does not accumulate anywhere within two miles of the town during 
this year. 

There are neither swamp lands, stagnant waters, nor marshes with- 
in several miles of the town, and although the fields are making con- 
stant encroachment upon the woods, yet by the enlargement of the 
commons around the town, the plough does not approach as near as 
formerly, there being now a space of near half-mile between the town 
and ploughed lands. The soil has not been materially disturbed this 

Peaches, figs, blackberries, &c, were more abundant and finer than 
usual ; garden vegetables were also finer in the early part of the year; 
but later in the summer and fall could not be grown ; gardens were 
almost a barren waste. 

The common house fly, and mosquito were very numerous and an- 
noying in May and June, but after that less so than usual. In Sep- 
tember, a fly much like the common fly in its appearance and habits, 
except that it does not enter your house, and only about a sixth of its 
size, made its appearance in small numbers, it is known as the cholera 
fly, from its having appeared in such swarms during cholera, in 1849. 

The yellow fever made its appearance as indicated, towards the 
latter part of August, it did not visit our town in the form of an epi- 
demic; all who died of it were, without exception, persons who had 
not resided a year in the place. The total number of deaths in the 
town, from the 1st day of August to the 3 1st of October, was about 
twenty, of which probably fifteen were of yellow fever. 


Baton Rouge is bounded on the West by the Mississippi, on the 
North by a small Bayou draining a strip of swamp land. The town is 
mostly located on a bluff, fifty feet above high water mark, the lower 
limit subject to overflow. 

Surface soil, a thin stratum of alluvion, on a bank of red clay. 

The water used is almost exclusively limestone ; well water 
found plentifully, at all seasons of the year, about thirty feet from the 

No rain water used ; such as have not wells use river water. 
There has been no disturbance of the soil, save that which an- 
nually takes place on the river banks when the river falls. 

The Bayou, above referred to, in high water, sweeps round on 
the Northwest limit of the town, and remains standing during 

32 Testimony of Dr. Thomas C. Brown. 

high water, amidst large trees and other vegetable growth, common 
to such places in this State. 

There is but little standing water in this locality during the 
months of August, September, and October. 

The first case was Jessee Butner, aged about 40, a native 
of Kentucky, who came to this place, on the 17th of August, in an 
open buggy, with a wife and child from Texas, via Alexandria, on 
Red River. The next fifteen or twenty cases occurred in a different 
part of the town : viz, on Front street near the river, in low boarding 
houses, amongst dissipated laborers. Some of the cases had been 
in a locality were yellow fever was prevailing. 

None are believed to have arisen from the handling of goods, 
clothing, &c, or from direct intercourse with other cases of the 

I know a number of cases which have occurred in this vicinity 
which appeared to have originated spontaneously, without even 
the suspicion of intercourse with other cases of the disease. 

I cannot trace the spread of the early cases of the disease 
from house to house, or from person to person, or their relations to 
any local cause of disease ; such as vicinity to streams, swamps, or 
the direction of the wind. The greatest mortality has prevailed 
on the river bank, under the bluff upon which the town is located. 
If an hypothesis may be indulged in, i should attribute the 
mortality to causes beyond the ken of observation; perhaps the 
disturbance of the electric forces. 


Bayou Sara is an incorporated town, containing nearly 320 acres ; 
but owing to the wet character of the Eastern part of the town, the 
buildings are confined to the front of the river, and the Bayou 
Sara, extending to the front of the hill. Its boundaries are the 
Mississippi on the South, Bayou Sara on the West, Bayou Foun- 
tain on the North, and a straight line on the East, running from the 
Mississippi due North, till it strikes Bayou Fountain. St. Francis- 
ville lies on the bluff adjoining Bayou Sara on the North, and runs 
out on a ridge about a half mile, and is surrounded by deep hollows 
or ravines, except on the side next to Baton Rouge, which terminates 
in an elevated bluff. 

The surface soil of Baton Rouge is alluvial, fiat, and swampy, 
with some ponds and sloughs. The drinking water is mostly 
cistern, though some few use spring water ; tasting of rotten lime- 

There have been no extensive clearing of lands in the vicinity, 

Messrs. Ball & Latham put up a saw mill (the Atlantic,) in the 
lower part of town, on the bank of the Missis sippi, and run it near 

Testimony of Dr. Thomas C. Brown. 33 

two years ; the saw dust was spread over several acres, filling some 
low places, a foot or eighteen inches deep ; a levee was thrown up 
around the town in 1850, and some work was done on it in 1851 
and 1852. The levee surrounding the town, makes a kind of basin 
of the town, which makes it very disagreeable and sultry in the 
summer. The streets and gutters, alias ditches, were worked in 
the spring, and early part of 1853 ; some little work done on the 
streets just at the breaking out of the epidemic. 

Bayou Sara is surrounded on three sides by the Mississippi. 
Bayou Sara and Bayou Fountain being darned up by the filling 
up and grading of the Public Road, to where it crosses over the 
levee, it forms a stagnant lake on the North side of Ba} 7 ou Sara ; 
and on the East of the town, it with other streams, form an extensive 
marsh for five or six miles below the town; the Cat Island Swamp 
extends on the West, from Bayou Sara to the Tunica Hills, a 
distance of near thirty miles. The levee on the Eastern boundary for 
all the water drained from the rest of the town, and as the earth 
was taken out of a ditch inside the levee, there is a pond and 
marsh, which in the spring and fore part of summer covers more 
than ten acres, whose only outlet was a culvert, passing under the 
levee into the Mississippi, and when the rise of the Mississippi 
prevented, it was pumped out by Messrs. Ball & Latham, with 
whom the corporation had contracted to keep the water pumped 
out for ten years. The Mill is now burned dbwn. The water 
stood in the lower part of the town, gradually drying up during 
the summer. 

The population of Bayou Sara was probably six hundred, 
that of St. Francisville about half as many. 

The deaths in the two towns are estimated at a little over one 
hundred ; in the whole Parish of West Feliciana, including the towns, 
at about one hundred and thirty. 

Early Cases. — The first I saw was Dr. P. P. Whicher, on the 
27th of August ; the next two cases occurred in St. Francisville, 
on the 1st of September; the next four cases occurred in Bayou 
Sara, on the 4th, 5th, and 6th of September ; from this time, 
cases steadily multiplied in Bayou Sara, and gradually extended 
up into St. Francisville, where it became very malignant in October. 

Dr. Whicher had been in attendance upon the son of Ex-Gov- 
ernor Johnson, who came up from New Orleans with the disease, 
and was taken out to the plantation. My first two cases occurred, 
in St. Francisville, the 1st day of September ; they were Mr. Charles 
Beard and David Hamilton. I have not learned that either of 
them had been where the disease existed previous to their attack, 
nor can I learn that my two cases occurred in Bayou Sara on 
September 4th, had any opportunity of contracting the disease 
from others. Mr. Henry M. Cobb's wife, child, and servant, took it 
five miles above Bayou Sara, without being able to trace it to others. 

34 Testimony of Dr. Richardson. 

Mr. David Austin's family, in all, eight ; did not have the disease 
though it was all around them ; but they did not nurse or visit the 
Bick. Mr. L. T. Maddox, his wife, and his brother Robert, did not 
contract the disease, though they nursed his brother George, and 
his son William, who both died of black vomit; they reside in a 
spacious brick house fronting on the levee, and sleep in the upper 
story. Mr. Thomas Garnet escaped, though he lost five children 
whom he carefully nursed. Mr. William Town, nursed in his own 
family, and in that of others, and did not take the fever. 

In the above mentioned cases the families lived well ; were 
temperate and industrious ; though the fever exempted no grade of 
society ; yet, the poor and intemperate suffered most. 

In the commencement of the epidemic, and throughout its con- 
tinuance, occasionally we had pure cases of intermittent and 
remittent fevers, and a few cases of protracted typhoid fever. 
You ask, "Do you regard the epidemic as true yellow fever?" 
Answer, I do. Because it is a continued fever, attended with 
yellowness of the skin, and generally, when fatal, attended with black 
vomit. It was not intermittent, nor remittent fever ; it was not typhus 
nor typhoid fever ; yet it partakes of the high grade of an intense 
fever of one paroxysm attended with great prostration. It is a true 
typhus icterodus. "Have you seen this disease before?" I have 
seen yellow fever before, say at Woodville, Mississippi, in 1844, 
but not characterized as this, with symptoms of typhus. The 
epidemic in Woodville was characterized by inflammatory symptoms. 

I had the yellow fever in 1844, and I had it again here. The 
chill followed by one intense paroxysm of fever lasting twelve hours, 
going entirely off, leaving me quite feeble for three days, when I 
left my bed, and had no return of fever. 

In some cases there were all the pains of the dengue. Some 
cases were attended with a rash ; and most, after their recovery, shed 
the cuticle of the hands and feet. Nausea and a disposition to 
retch, was a constant attendant on the fever. The intensity of the 
fever was perceptible before the hand touched the skin. The per- 
spiration had a musty, sour, cadaverous smell ; the faeces had the 
cadaverous smell which ceased with the improvement of the patient. 
The urine was suppressed in only a few cases ; but was generally 
high colored and ropy. The attacks of children were generally 
attended with worms, and frequently proved fatal. 


Grand Ecore, La. — Case 1. — The first case of yellow fever occurred 
two miles below Grand Ecore, on the 20th of August, and was at- 
tended by Dr. Williams. He was a citizen who was supposed to 
have contracted the fever from the steamboat. Two youn"- men, 
recently from California, and coming from Alexandria, were the first 

Testimony of Frederick R. Harvey. 3* 

cases seen by Dr. R., on the 29th of August. One of them died. 
There were more recoveries, proportionably, among blacks than 
whites. The weather was unpleasant, and very warm, with much 
ruin ; winds generally from the Southeast. Thinks yellow fever can- 
not be strictly considered a contagious disease. This yellow fever 
was imported from New Orleans to Natchitoches. Natchitoches es- 
caped until late in the season, in consequence of its being less accessi- 
ble than Grand Ecore. The Dr. has seen equally as unpleasant years 
as the past, without any accompanying fever. 

Bilious fever seemed to be supplanted by yellow fever. Bilious fever, 
near the time that yellow fever made its appearance, exhibited gastric 
symptoms, and sometimes patients turned yellow; when fatal, gener- 
ally terminated on the 5th day. Does not think the fever which pre- 
vailed this year anything unusual, nor does he think it spread either 
by infection or contagion. The fever this year assumed the Typhoid 
form; late in the season it became milder. Observed a peculiar smell 
in the fever this year, which he considers characteristic. No stagnant 
water in the vicinity which would account for the malignancy of the 
disease ; knows of no case of recovery from black vomit. On 
Prothoes' plantation, several persons who were Creoles took the dis- 
ease and died. It is not known that they had any communication with 
the boats or the town. Knows two other localities, having no com- 
munication with infected districts, where the disease prevailed. Ne- 
groes might have walked to the river, a distance of two miles, during 
the night. Thinks that if Natchitoches could have been cut off from 
all communication with infected places in the neighborhood, it might 
have escaped the epidemic. It is the belief in the vicinity that after 
the invasion of a disease, it might break out spontaneously in places 
not exposed. The Dr. has not noticed whether the intemperate are 
more subject than the temperate from attacks of yellow fever. 


The incorporated limits embrace an area of one square mile ; pop- 
ulation 1,300 to 1,500. 

Soil. — Surface uneven ; parts sandy, parts clayey. 

Free stone well water almost universally used ; a few springs in 
the suburbs, but very little depended upon. 

No clearing of land within some miles of town, for some years 
past. The soil has been much more than usually disturbed by work- 
ing the streets and cleaning of back yards ; and that, too, all through 
the months of August and September, to the middle of October. 

Pretty Creek is one-half mile West of town, and the Comite one 
mile ; both streams overflow their banks, and inundate their swamps, 
for more than a mile in width. No stagnant pools, lakes, or marshes 
in the vicinity. Water runs off very readily. 

36 Testimony of Dr. Ball. 

Season was unusually wet, from the 1st July; frequent rains, ac- 
companied with severe thunder and lightning. 

Vegetation very rank ; fruit of all kinds very abundant. Musquetoes 
uncommonly numerous, both night and day. 

September 30th. — None, so far as I can ascertain, had been in a 
locality whr e yellow fever was prevailing ; none have arisen from the 
handling of goods, clothingiVDr direct intercourse with other cases of 
the disease. Persons of intemperate habits, if attacked by the disease, 
almost sure to die ; although there are some old soakers still walking 
about in our midst, apparently as good as new. 

All cases of fever seemed to assume the same type of the prevailing 

Two deaths occurred within forty-eight hours of the attack, but most 
succumbed on the 5th and 7th days. 

Cases of Yellow Fever — 175 to 185. 

Deaths — 50. 


Case 1. — Dr. Ball's first cases occurred in the first week of July, 
near Gormley's Basin ; a week afterwards, saw cases in Hercules street, 
near Melpomene street; a few days afterwards, cases below Mel- 
pomene street. The disease then seemed to extend towards the New 
Basin. Saw cases there the third week in July. Knows no commu- 
nication to have taken place in these cases. Thinks his first case had 
no intercourse with shipping; they were laborers, some of them work- 
ing in the swamp, others on the levee, as draymen. The first cases 
he saw lived in crowded apartments. Did not learn that the intem- 
perate were more liable to the disease than others. Many children 
were attacked, who generally recovered. Knows of three cases of re- 
covery from black vomit — one adult and two children. 

Lake Providence, La. — Went to Lake Providence on the 24th 
September ; the mortality there was very great. The fever appeared 
at Lake Providence the last week in August. Mr. Odell, of New 
Orleans, was sick a week earlier than the 1st of September. Mrs. 
Selby ,was the first person who died ; her death took place on the 1st 
September, with black vomit. She lived one-half mile from the house 
in which Odell resided ; she seldom left her house. Mrs. Campbell, died 
on the 11th of September, in the hotel in which Odell stopped. The 
disease was the same, but more fatal there than here. It was confined 
to the town ; did not spread into the country, although often carried 
out by persons visiting the town. Does not consider yellow fever a 
communicable disease. Has seen much of it ; formerly practised in 
Savannah, and subsequently in Mobile. The population of Lake 
Providence is about 600. At the time of the Dr.'s departure, the 
number of deaths amounted to 130. 

In Fort Adams, the first case occurred the second week in October. 
There were cases of fever on a plantation in the neighborhood of 

Testimony of Mr. Odell and Mr. Wm. H. Parham. 37 

Fort Adams, two weeks before it appeared in Fort Adams. No 
communication existed between the plantation and the town, except 
by physicians. The communication between New Orleans and Fort 
Adams has been uninterrupted this year. 


Lake Providence. — Resides in New Orleans ; on the 12th day of 
August, arrived at Lake Providence, La. ; was in good health. Yel- 
low fever occurred on board the steamer Memphis, which left the city 
on the 9th of August. Mr. O. has passed three summers at New Or- 
leans. On his arrival at Lake Providence, he stopped at the Sparrow 
House — the principal tavern. Was taken sick two days after arrival. 
Two physicians and a negro hired boy attended him. Sickened five 
days after leaving New Orleans. Six days after, a little girl named 
Kimball, a boarder, was taken sick and died in three days. The next 
case, was that of the mother of the little girl, who died a few days 
after the child ; next the landlady, Mrs. Campbell, who died ten days 
after the death of Mrs. Kimball. The house stands on the front row, 
about 100 yards from the river. There is a marsh three-fourths of a 
mile wide in the rear. The banks of the river cave in yearly more or 
less. The weather was fine, but warm and sultry. No other person 
got off the Memphis. The next person taken sick was Mrs. Selby. 
Mrs. Selby did not visit the hotel. She died seventeen or eighteen 
days after my attack ; had black vomit. During my sickness, twelve 
persons sat up with me at different times ; recognizes some names 
among them in the printed list of deaths. 

There were several cases of yellow fever on board the Memphis, 
and one death — Wm. Worsham, the first clerk and part owner of* the 
boat. The boat arrived in New Orleans on the 6th of August ; he 
was attacked on the 7th ; she left on the 9th, and he died with black 
vomit on the 11th August. Mr. O. helped to nurse him and lay him 
out. Had been absent two months; had not been in New Orleans but 
three or four days previous to his trip to Lake Providence. 


Case 1. — Mr. Parham resides in New Orleans. On the 15th of 
July, he left the city ; on the 15th of September, when 14 miles be- 
low Lake Providence, he was taken sick. Had yellow fever in 1847 ; 
considers his attack of this year identical, from the similarity of symp- 
toms. Frequently visited steamboats from the city, and was informed 
fever existed on board. Thinks he took the disease in consequence 
of these visits, although his last visit was three weeks previous to the 
attack. Two negroes were sick with the fever, and treated by the 
overseer, who did not contract the disease. One negro was nursed 

38 Testimony of Lewis Selby. 

by the other ; the first died, the second recovered. It is probable that 
they visited the boat. 

Locality. — The situation was high and dry. 

Mrs. Haines, residing one mile below Dr. Bowman's, sickened and 
died ; the physicians unacquainted with the disease. Mr. Parham 
mentions the case of the Mayor of Vicksburg. He left the town and 
was taken sick at Editor's Depot. No other case appeared there. 
Mr. Scarborough, suffering with fever, was visited by his brother, who 
was attacked forty-eight hours after his return home. 

The weather was not unusually rainy, but very hot; not much 
thunder ; not more mould on leather, &c, than usual. The blight in 
cotton in the hills this year was very bad ; heard old planters say 
(among others Mr. Isaac Selser) it was as bad as in 1828. Mr. S. 
resides in Raymond, Hinds County, Miss. 


Lake Providence is situated some four hundred yards upon the 
Mississippi river coast, and from two to three hundred deep or 
back. But many who have offices, and do business entirely in town, 
live as far as two miles from the C«»urt-house, in it. 

The ordinary alluvial soil on the Mississippi river banks. 

The Mississippi water, and cistern water, the former used in a 
greater degree ; no well water. 

Disturbance of soil. — None. 

Position witk regard to rivers, swamp, Sfc, Sfc. — The Mississippi 
is on the East, and Lake Providence nearly as wide and deep as 
the river, on the West, and eight miles long ; none else. 

Drainage. — The water runs immediately into the lake. 

Condition of weather and winds. — At the commencement of 
the epidemic, hot and dry ; little fog ; rain thunder and lightning ; 
winds South and East, or South and West. 

Fruits not as good as usual ; animals were sickly, and many 
had swellings upon them. Fowls not fit to eat, and many of them 
died ; musquetoe stings more violent, and they of a different color 
and ten-fold more numerous. I never saw the twentieth part of 
mould, but did not notice its color ; fungi vastly more plentiful. 

Case 1. — Mrs. Selby was the first case ; and I am satisfied that 
she had not been out of the village ; out of sight of her dwelling, 
or on any steamboat, for at least six months before her sickness. 
She having been in bad health, and from all the information I can 
get, I believe she had not been in the " Sparrow House," or 
nearer it than on its side-walks, in passing it, and very seldom 
there for more than a month before her death. 

From the information I have been able to get, no freights or 
merchandize arrived here till after the death of Mrs. Selby, and 

Testimony of Dr. A. R. Kilpatrkk. 39 

her's was the first death known to have been caused by yellow- 
fever here. 

I have learned that two deaths by fevers took place a day or two 
after her's, one at the Sparrow House, and one directly opposite. 



Black River, Concordia Parish, Louisiana, is bounded indefinitely; 
bordering on Black and Tensas Rivers, about thirly-one and a half 
degrees latitude, and fourteen degrees forty minutes and twenty 
seconds longitude West from Washington, D. C. 

The whole country is pure alluvium. 

The most of families use cistern water, contained in wooden 
cisterns ; but some use well water, which is quite brackish and 

The country is comparatively new and entirely agricultural — new 
fields are opening — immense deadening made annually ; and the 
soil constantly upturned by the plough. The region is markedly 
paludal, being cut up with sloughs, ponds, lagoons, large lakes, 
and much stagnant water; besides the two rivers above mentioned. 
The water does not accumulate in winter ; and runs off slowly ; 
probably as much disappears by evaporation, as by transpiration. 
The year was wet. 

There was more rain than usual during the summer months ; the 
spring months were dry ; a more detailed account is appended. 

We have but few fruit trees here, but those bore well and healthily. 
We had an unusual quantity of house flies early in the spring, which 
continued till the summer ended ; musquetoes not as troublesome 
as usual ; no disease or fatality was observed amongst animals ; 
mould less than common. 

There was no epidemic here, but a good deal of ordinary fever, 
such as intermittent and bilious remittent fever ; some citizens con- 
tracted yellow fever in New Orleans and Natchez, but all recovered ; 
although their convalescence was slow, with frequent relapses, 
attributable to dietetic irregularities, and foolish exposure to sun 
and night air ; no fatal cases. 

I treated this disease in Woodville, Mississippi, in 1844 ; and had 
it myself; and a full history of that epidemic you can see in the 
second volume of the New Orleans Medical Journal. 

Trinity, La. — Trinity is a village of two hundred and eighty 
inhabitants, at the junction of Ouachita, Tensas and Little Rivers ; 
and steamboats from New Orleans land there at least every week, 
and in busy seasons every day. Several cases of yellow fever 
were put off there last July and August, all of which died; and 
some corpses were put off there and buried. 

No particular precautionary measures were taken to prevent the 

40 Testimony of Wm. B. Wood. 

spread of the disease. No one contracted the disease from those 



Centreville is situated on the South bank of the Bayou Teche, ten 
miles above the entrance of Bayou Teche into the Atchafalaya, and 
five miles below the town of Franklin. The Bayou at this point 
running from West due East. 

The surface soil is a mixture of sand and clay. 

The only water used here for drinking purposes is cistern water. 

There have not been any extensive clearings; some however 
near the village; together with a considerable opening of ditches, 
and stirring of mud in the principal streets or roads of the village, 
late in the summer. 

The Bayou Teche, at this point, generally, is low upon its banks ; 
being mushy near the waters edge ; the land rising at from fifty to 
six hundred feet back, to the height of several feet ; a North wind 
blows directly from the Bayou into town. 

The Bayou being affected by tide water, the current is always 
slow ; at one time running up, and at another down. The difference 
between high and low water, being only about three feet in extremes ; 
but generally not more than one or two feet. 

The past summer was unusually wet ; great quantities of rain 
having fallen in June and July. The heat of the sun was very 

There appeared to be more musquetoes, the past summer, than 
I ever noticed in any previous year ; also an increased number of 
flies; mould, of a drab color, was abundant during the summer 
and fall. 

Centreville contains not over two hundred inhabitants. 

Case 1. — The first case occurred on the 15th of September, in the 
person of a mulatto ; a cooper by trade ; which terminated fatally on 
the ninth day, from relapse occurring on the fifth day ; this was a 
well marked case ; having hiccough, bleeding of the gums and nose, 
and terminating in spasms, with deep yellowness of the eyes and 
skin. He worked and slept in a cooper shop, immediately on the 
bank of the Bayou, from which shop, from time to time, for several 
years, large quantities of chips and shavings have been thrown into 
the edge of the Bayou, thereby forming a wharf, some forty to fifty 
feet into the Teche, all of which bank so formed is in a rottening 
state. This boy slept in a room in the corner of the shop nearest 
the Bayou, and immediately over this rotting bank of chips and 
shavings ; he had had no intercourse with any person having yellow 
fever, nor any place where that disease was supposed to prevail ; no 
other case originated here until after the 1st of October. 

I do not believe any case to have arisen from the handling of 

Testimony of Dr. J. S. Copes. 41 

goods, clothing, or from direct intercourse with other cases of the 

The case detailed above, occurred on the 15th of September; on 
the 18th of September the wind changed, from Southwest to North, 
and for two weeks blew steadily from that quarter, passing directly 
from the Bayou, over this bank of chips, &c, into the village. It did 
not seem to spread from person to person, and showed no disposition 
to contagion, as a majority of those who attended the sick escaped 
the disease altogether. 

All classes of our population seemed alike susceptible ; the only 
exception being in favor of children ; very few children having had 
the disease. 

During the summer and fall we had bilious intermitting and 
remitting fevers, but after the 15th of September any such cases 
occurring at Centreville, appeared to run into, and assume the type 
of yellow fever. 

I consider the epidemic, as true yellow fever. 

I have seen the disease before, in Baton Rouge and on the coast 
in 1843 and 1847. 

I have seen no case recover from black vomit. 

Out of thirty-five cases I have treated this fall, two alledge that 
they have had yellow fever before. 

1 think at least three to one of such who were exposed to the 
disease, have escaped; the fever showed no disposition to spread into 
the surrounding neighborhood ; none took it, unless exposed to the 
common causes in the village. One went into the country and died 
with black vomit, but communicated it to none of his attendants. 


Case 1 — Dr. Copes' earliest case was on the 12th of July, in 
Tchoupitoulas street, near the Waterworks. There were so many 
cases at that time in the immediate vicinity, that it was impossible to 
say if the disease passed from one person to another. 

Point Coupie. — The Dr. was in the Parish of Point Couple, while 
the fever prevailed there. Many old Creoles secluded themselves en- 
tirely from their sick neighbors, but did not escape, notwithstanding. 

Jackson, Miss, — The first cases in Jackson were Germans, who 
came from Vicksburg ; they stopped at a Porter-house, and the dis- 
ease seemed to radiate from that point. In 1841 and 1844, the fever 
was very bad in Vicksburg, and there was constant communication 
with Jackson ; the railroad cars making three trips daily. Only one 
case occurred at the latter place; this case came from Vicksburg; no 
other cases seemed to emanate from it. 

A Mrs. L. recently from Kentucky, stopped a few days at Brandon, 
(12 Bailee East, by railroad, from Jackson) in a hotel in which a young 
man, who had contracted the disease in Jackson, had died of black 

42 Testimony of Br. Charles Delery and T. P. Richardson. 

vomit. She came to Jackson on Friday, and the succeeding Tuesday 
took the yellow fever. 

Dr. Copes thinks the disease contagious under certain circumstances. 
Cannot say if the disease of this year differs from that of other years 
in being so ; observes a peculiar smell in yellow fever ; saw that trie 
musquetoes were apparently driven out of a house m Prytama stieet 
by it. Has seen no case of recovery from black vomit. Ihe disease 
in the country was worse ; there was no disposition in the bodies to 
turn yellow. Saw very few cases besides yellow fever, except a lew 
cases of intermittent. Intemperate persons, and those who neglect 
hygeinie rules, more susceptible. 


Parish of St. John Baptist. — Knew of no case earlier than the 28th 
of May in the Charity Hospital. First private case in latter part of 
June or ] st July. The Dr. is not prepared to say if the disease is conta- 
gious. Has not made up his mind whether it is of domestic c-rigin, or 
whether it is imported. In the Parish of St. John the Baptist, which 
he visited, he had a better opportunity of scrutinizing the disease. The 
first cases occurring there were in the lower part of the Parish, in a 
hut in which many persons resided. The neighborhood is densely 
settled for a mile in extent, on the banks of the river. The occupants 
are chiefly woodsellers, and they are daily in communication with the 
steamers from New Orleans. The next case occurred in the house 
next above ; seven or eight died ; and it continued to extend up the 
coast. Up to the 11th of October, it had not crossed the river, al- 
though a few isolated cases appeared there. Doctor Delerj' heard 
Doctor Fortino, from whom much of this information was obtained, 
and who resides in St. John's, remark that, most of the nurses and 
friends of the sick were taken with the disease. The Doctor observes 
that most of the negroes whose cabins are placed thirty or forty acres 
from the river bank, had very little sickness. Knows of no locality 
which was perfectly free from communication with the sick ; negroes 
who are placed remote from the river are less liable to attack than 
those immediately on the bank. The vicissitudes of temperature were 
great; the days were warm and the nights cool. Heard many cases 
of blacks who recovered from black vomit ; knew of one isolated 
case, which had no communication with any other, or with New Or- 


Soil of surface generally sandy. 

In our village the water mostly used is that of the Ouachita river, 

though several families have used cistern water ; difference not notable. 

No clearing in our immediate vicinity ; the soil has been greatly dis- 

Testimony of Dr. James S. Grant 43 

turbed by the improvement of the streets ; soil has teen brought from 
a distance and spread over our main street ; several new cisterns dug ; 
all in May and June. 

Position of Trenton : it has the Ouachita river on the East, a bayou 
on the North and South, with considerable marsh on the West, filled 
with pools of water. 

The water does not run of freely, but does not accumulate under 
several hundred yards of the inhabitable portion of our village. 

Case 1. — The first case occurred about the first of August ; lasted 
some five days, and terminated fatally ; and so did the first three. 

Next 15 Cases. — The cases grew milder from the first to the last ; 
these cases had not been in a locality where yellow fever was pre- 

One among the first cases, was a merchant, who was taken while 
opening goods from New Orleans. 

Several families were attacked about the same time, in different parts 
of the village. 

But little difference was manifested in regard to social relations. 

The proportion of cases of black vomit, was £ 

Yellowness of skin, all. 

Haemorrhage, £ 

Few other types prevailing. 

I regard the epidemic as true yellow fever, 

I have seen it before, in New Orleans, and Mobile, in 1847 — '48. 

The number of cases of black vomit which I have seen, is 15 or 20 

The number of recovery, 1 

Alleged cases of second and third attacks, 

The number of persons attendant on the sick, or otherwise ex- 
posed to its possible causes, and liable thereto, from never having 
had it, who have entirely escaped during the epidemic, 4 or 5 

Deaths occurred from the 5th to the 7th day. 

Db. E. D. Fenneb, New Orleans : 

Dear Sir : — Your favor of the 19th inst. was duly received, but in 
consequence of pressure in business I could not answer you by return 
mail, I therefore employ the earliest opportunity to comply with your 
request, though I must do so very briefly. 

The first cases of yellow fever that occurred in this vicinity last 
season, were three persons landed from the steamer P. Miller, on the 
night of the 8th of August. I was called on the morning of the 9th, 
to visit them at the place they were landed, about three miles above 
our village. They compose a part of a family just emigrated to the 
place, from one of the Northern States. They arrived in the city of 
New Orleans, as well as I recollect from their statement, on the 1st 
of August, and were necessarily detained until the 5th or 6th, On 

44 Testimony of Dr. James S. Chant. 

the night previous to leaving the city, the son, a young man of 17, was 
taken suddenly ill with a violent chill, followed by violent fever, deli- 
rium, &c. ; in the morning his father thought him somewhat better, and 
decided upon pursuing his journey. About 9 o'clock the eldest daugh- 
ter was taken in a similar manner ; and about 12 o'clock, M., a younger 
daughter of 13 years of age was also taken with symptoms like the 
others. The parents horror stricken ; as I can well suppose, at what 
they saw and heard in your devoted city ; decided on leaving at all 
hazard. They arrived at their destination, as I before stated, on the 
night of the 8th, and I saw them on the morning of the 9th. I have 
not time to go into a detailed description of these cases ; suffice it to 
say, that on the second day the eldest daughter, a young lady of 19, 
was taken with black vomit, but lingered for forty-eight hours, and 
died. The young man was taken with black vomit some twelve 
hours after it commenced with his sister, and died in ten or twelve 
hours after that symptom supervened. The younger sister recovered 
after a serious and protracted illness. 

In six or seven days after the death of these persons, a man servant 
belonging on the same premises was taken with violent chill succeed- 
ed with great heat, delirium, redness of eyes, &c. The delirium was 
so great that it required five or six strong men to hold him. His case 
terminated speedily and favorably; having no fever after the first twen- 
ty-four hours ; complaining only of extreme weakness afier that time. 

The father and mother of the above cases and two other of their 
sons, had subsequent attacks, I understood, but they did not come 
under my observation. 

The next case that occurred was a young man who was permitted 
to pass our quarantine station on the 16th August, on a visit to a gen- 
tleman about four miles above our village, upon his promise that he 
would remain with his friend and not visit any other place until the 
term of quarantine was completed. He remained with Captain M. 
until the evening of the 22d, when he was seized with chill, succeeded 
with violent fever, pains in the head, back, and limbs, injected eyes, 
&c. The next morning ( the 23d ) his symptoms being somewhat 
mitigated, he concluded to leave his friend's residence and was brought 
to our village. 

He called at my office about 3 o'clock, P. M., of the 23d, stating 
that he had had a singular chill the night before, though he had had 
frequent attacks of intermittent fever previously, he had never expe- 
rienced any thing like the present one. He had not a violent grade of 
fever at the time I first saw him, but complained of considerable head- 
ache, pain in the back of the neck, back, and limbs, particularly the 
calves of his legs ; eyes suffused, conjunctiva injected, considerable 
debility or rather prostration of strength, nausea, with frequent efforts 
to vomit, spirits depressed. 

To my inquiries whether he had been in any place where the yel- 
low fever was prevailing, he answered that he had been in no place 

Testimony of Br. James S. Grant. 45 

where it prevailed as an epidemic ; stated that he got aboard the mail 
boat at Carrollton, where he heard there had been two or three spora- 
dic cases, but had seen none of them. After I had prescribed for 
him he returned to the hotel, and I saw no more of him until the next 
afternoon, when, passing the hotel, I saw him sitting on the gallery, 
apparently much worse than the preceding day. Being in haste at 
the time, I simply directed him to retire to his bed and remain there 
until I returned. When 1 saw him next, some five or six hours after, 
I found my last injunction an unnecessary one, for he was scarcely 
able to turn in bed ; on entering the room, I readily perceived that 
my fears were groundless. The symptoms could not be mistaken ; 
his nails at this time were purple, his skin livid, his eyes of a reddish 
yellow hue, and above all other diagnostic symptoms, the peculiar 
odor on entering the room, was almost suffocating. 

This patient recovered after a protracted illness, with almost every 
unfavorable symptom, such as haemorrhage from the gums, bowels, and 
scarified surfaces. During the illness of this man no person entered 
his room, except myself, the landlord, and a black man who nursed 
him, and my friend, Dr. Day, who was in with me once for a few 

The next case was an elderly lady, whom I saw frequently passing 
the house while the above patient was sick. She was taken ill I think 
on the 30th of August, and died on the 1st of September. I cannot 
speak positively of the time of her attack, as I did not attend her. 

On the 6th of September, a blacksmith, whose shop stood about 
one hundred feet North of the hotel ; the black boy who nursed the 
above patient, and a boy from a neighboring plantation, who had a 
wife at the hotel, were all taken about the same time. The black- 
smith and one boy died on the 6th ; the other, I think, on the 7th day 
of their illness. The other boy recovered. Upon a moments reflec- 
tion it has occurred to my mind that previous to the last mentioned 
case, an infant of my own was attacked in the manner above describ- 
ed, I think the last day of August. iJer case differed somewhat from 
the preceding ones in this particular ; the fever continued for seven 
days without the least intermission, and was attended with more cere- 
bral symptoms than generally occurred. This child's recovery was 
extremely slow. 

The blacksmith was a patient of my partner, Dr. Sanders, conse- 
quently I saw but little of him, until the close of the fifth day; he 
being taken suddenly worse, I was called in in the absence of Dr. 
Sanders. I found him almost unconscious, with haemorrhage from 
every spot where scarification had been made. He survived 
about twenty-four hours after I first saw him. This man occupied a 
room above a dry goods store; the family of the merchant lived on 
the same floor, every member of which were frequently in his room, 
and every one had a subsequent attack of fever, ( six in number. ) I 
requested his friends to make preparations and have him buried 

46 Testimony of Dr. James S. Grant. 

without delay, and exclude every one from his room but those neces- 
sary to bury him; but instead of taking my advice, the house was 
thronged the whole time of the interval between his death and burial. 

On the day previous to his death, the clerk in the store fell sick ; he 
had devoted much attention to his friend ; being in his room a large 
portion of his time, especially during the night. This man had a 
severe attack, with one or two relapses. 

From the time of the death of the blacksmith, the disease spread 
rapidly ; so much so that by the 21st of September we had seventy- 
five cases in our vicinity. It extended to nearly every plantation for 
several miles above and below our village ; respecting neither age, sex, 
color, or condition in life. On some plantations, every white person, 
with nearly every slave, passed through the ordeal ; while some inter- 
mediate places enjoyed complete immunity. These last, however, 
were restricted to non-intercourse with supposed infected districts. 

In our little village, nearly every individual had the disease during 
some period of its prevalence ; which continued here from the above 
dates until late in December. Whenever it made its appearance in a 
family, it generally, sooner or later, extended to every member, in what 
we considered the infected region. Many persons who visited this 
place contracted the disease ; but in no case that I learned, did they 
communicate it to their friends, or attendants, when they lived beyond 
certain limits. The range of country, from about six miles above 
this place, to nine miles below, along the margin of the river, com- 
posed our sickly region , many of the intermediate plantations, 
however, remained healthy. The number of cases during its preva- 
lence here, as near as I can calculate, exceeded five hundred, of which 
number there were forty-five deaths. 

I know of no local cause to produce such a disease here ; indeed 
our place was never more healthy at the same season of year than at 
the time the above cases were introduced, and I believe it might have 
continued so, but for the leaven they imported. This leaven, I think, 
from what I have observed, may be inert, unless deposited in a suita- 
ble atmosphere or locality. Some alterations in the constituents 
of the atmosphere, are necessary to render the morbific matter active, 
whatever that may be. We have never had the disease in this place 
since my residence here, which is eleven years. In 1839, the fever 
prevailed in various parts of the Parish. Some cases occurred here 
at that time, but were contracted in Franklin, or some place above, 
where it prevailed with much severity. I lived at that time between 
Franklin and New Iberia ; two places of its greatest ravages at that 
time ; and saw much of it there ; mostly cases, I thought, contracted in 
one of those places. 

With regard to the communicability of yellow fever, I believe, had 
a subject with small pox landed here, and there had never been one 
person vaccinated, that disease would not have spread more extensive- 
ly. I can not now produce facts to prove my assertion, as the mail 

Testimony of Dr. James O. Wyly and Mr. E. Terry. 47 

closes in a few minutes, and I have scarcely time to make an apology 
for giving so imperfect an account of the cases. You will excuse the 
imperfection in every respect, I have not time to look over and correct. 
I give you thanks for your favor accompanying your letter. 

LAKE PROVIDENCE. Carroll Parish, La., December 24th, 1853. 

Dr. James G. Wyly. — I have been practicing medicine in this plcae 
(Providence) since the 10th of this month. Previously I had been 
practicing for months in Swan Lake. 

There have been, to my knowledge, several cases of yellow fever carried 
from this place into the country ; but none of these cases have spread in 
those places to which they were carried. I know of no cases which origi- 
nated spontaneously. During the epidemic, as far as my observation went, 
there was no ague and fever, remittent, and very little of any kind of 
fever except the yellow fever. Attest: W. P. R. 

E. Terry, Editor of the Carroll Watchman, Mayor of Providence. — I 
know Mr. Odell, who was sick here and recovered — said to have been the 
yellow fever. ( By reference to the list of arrivals at the Sparrow House 
Hotel, Providence, La., for the 12th of August, 1853, we find the follow- 
ing entry of the name of Mr. S. W. Odeh 1 , Camp street, New Orleans, 
room No. 13. He is marked as having left on the 6th day of September, 
following.) He came to Providence about the 15th of August, being 
unwell at the time. No other sick passengers were landed in this place 
at the same time with Mr. Odell. It is my opinion that Odell did not 
have the yellow fever. He was sick about three weeks. About that time 
the D. S. Stacy arrived here from New Orleans ; snagged ; and had cases 
of yellow fever aboard. She lay some time at the landing. Four days 
previous, the carpenter had died aboard her, and was buried at Milliken's 

I regard the case of Mrs. Selby ( wife of Judge Louis Selby ), as the 
first we had of yelloAV fever. She was taken, I think, about the 25th of 
August, and died near the 2d of September. She resided in the upper 
part of the town. Was very seldom away from home. Do not think 
there was any possibility of her having caught it from the Stacy. The 
Judge had a negro boy who was in the habit of going to the boats every 
day and selling peaches, &c, and it may be that he carried it in his 
clothing ; but he did not have the fever until after Mrs. Selby had it. 
All that I know of her going from home, was to do shopping. 

The second and third cases of the fever were those of Pat. Feely and 
Lula Kimble. Feely had been in the country preparing to burn bricks. 
He caught cold, and was somewhat unwell when he came to town, and 
was taken with the fever about the 27th of August. He died about the 
2d of September. I consider both these cases as spontaneous in their 
origin, for there was no reasonable chance for them to have taken it from 

Nobody landed from the Stacy. She staid here about ten hours. 

48 Testimony of Dr. Benjamin H. Bowman. 

Nobody was brought from her. Nobody went aboard her except Mr. 
Campbell, Dr. Bowman, and the persons connected with the wharf-boat. 

I do not think that the disease was communicated from person to 

I had a very good opportunity of observing and knowing the move- 
ments of individuals from the place— both those who went away, and 
were subsequently taken with the fever, and those who were carried away 
after being taken ; and I do not know a single instance in the Parish 
where the disease was contracted, without the individual having come 
to town. 

Of these cases which went and were carried to the country, I know as 
many as thirty or forty, reaching out in every direction. If any such ^ a 
case of communication had occurred, I am sure I should have known it. 

I know that Mrs. Selby did pass by the hotel (shopping) at least once 
while Mr. Odell was sick. 

On Mr. Geo. G. Wilson's plantation, which joins the town below, there 
are fifty negroes. Their quarters are within ( 150 ) one hundred and fifty 
yards of houses in which the yellow fever occurred. Non-intercourse 
was established, and no yellow fever occurred on Wilson's plantation. 

During the epidemic, a peculiar smell pervaded the atmosphere of the 
town — should have prevailed here more than in any other swampy and 
damp country. Boats came from New Orleans. 

Attest: W. P. R. 

Dr. Benj. H. Bowman. — I have practiced in this place ( Lake Provi- 
dence) since 1849. Was here when the fever commenced. Mrs. Selby 
was the first case. No physician saw her except Dr. Larche, who was in 
the habit of making some parade in telling circumstances, and apt to 
make a large story of a small one. 

On the 28th of August, a little girl, the daughter of Mrs. Kimble, was 
taken sick at the hotel, with the ordinary symptons of chills and fever. 
These shortly disappeared, and I ordered medicines to be given to prevent 
a return ; but the child was somewhat spoiled, and refused to take them. 
The chills and fever consequently returned on the next day, but in like 
manner passed off. On the third day they returned again, and that 
morning at about two o'clock, the child died ; with some appearance of 
black vomit. On the 31st of August, I was called to see Feely, from the 
country, but through pressure of business, ceased making minute records ; 
I cannot name the precise dates. 

Mrs. Kimble was also taken with chills and fever the dav the child 
died, 31st August. On the second day she had another chill, and on 
the third day she also had another chill, and then improved so decidedly 
that I considered her nearly well ; but the second day afterwards she 
exhibited some appearance of jaundice, and on the next day, she also 

The first case occurred at Judge Selby's, as before mentioned. He 
resides some little distance from the hotel, and is so situated in a retired 
locality as to involve necessarily no very free communication with the 

Testimony of Dr. Benjamin H. Bowman. 49 

business part of the place, nor with boats landing at the levee. Do not 
know whether Mrs. Selby really had yellow fever or not, though it had 
been pronounced so by Dr. Larche, who attended her, and was the only 
physician who saw her. Dr. Larche has since died with the fever. 

I doubt, very much, whether Mr. Odell had yellow fever. He was 
very badly frightened, and sick three or four weeks. He had been to 
Arkansas, on a collecting tour ; and, knowing that many clerks had left 
New Orleans ; determined, contrary to the advice of his friends, to go there 
and get employment. On arriving, he paid no attention to the sickness, 
until seeing a notice in the paper concerning the condition of the ceme- 
teries; he concluded to go and see them for himself; where, finding things 
worse than he had anticipated, he became suddenly frightened, and called 
on Dr. Fenner for advice, concerning the propriety of his remaining in 
the city. Dr. Fenner, finding that he had not staid over night in the 
city, advised him by all means to leave, as soon as he could possibly get 
away. He was delayed in getting a boat up the river, and became more 
and more alarmed and excited. He went to his hotel, and locked himself 
in the highest room he could obtain, and remained till next day ; when he 
took passage for this place. 

He arrived here on Friday. He and Capt. Smith ate a large water- 
melon ; after which, about four o'clock, Clark was taken with yellow 
fever — September 5 th — and died, 9th September. And Cook, Odell and 
myself still ate more ; making in all, for Odell, about one large watermelon. 
He was still much frightened about the fever ; said he had been exposed 
to it, and was bound to have it ; and, if he did have it, was sure to die ; 
also, said he felt bad. Every body told him it must be the fever coming 
on him ; and asked him, in jest, if he did not feel pain in the head? He 
said, yes ! And, if he had not pain in his back ? He said, he had. They 
then advised him, also in jest, to send for me. This was August 14th, 
I saw him. His pulse was high, yet his skin was moist and in good con- 
dition, and there was no unusual heat. I told him there was nothing the 
matter with him, except that he was excited; but advised him to go 
home, and take some rest ; and I would call and see him in the evening. 
In the evening, I saw him again ; he was in a gentle perspiration, and 
had no pain in the head. To gratify him, I, however, gave him some oil 
and a little calomel, which operated finely. For four days he lay there 
in his blankets, and could not be induced to get up, though his pulse 
was regular and his tongue clean. I think his case was first brought on 
by over eating, excitement, fear, <fec. Do not believe it was yellow fever 
at all. On the eighth or ninth day he had copious haemorrhage from the 

The fever did not spread anywhere in the country in this vicinity. The 
farthest cases were not more than six or eight hundred yards from the 
river. I should say that the usual population of this place is eight or 
nine hundred. Of those, about three hundred remained during the preva- 
lence of the epidemic. 

I saw no recoveries after black vomit had occurred ; though I did see 

50 Testimony of Dr. Benjamin H. Bowman. 

some who recovered after throwing up mucus, slightly tinged with r e ddlsn 
streaks resembling blood. Saw some children who had the fever. Adults 
were most subject to it. Some negroes died ; none, however, that I saw, 
who had proper care, but that recovered. They seemed to suffer from it 
very little more than from ordinary chills and fever. Mulattoes suffered 
from it somewhat more than the full-blooded negro. Think it was of 
spontaneous origin with us. 

Mrs. Kimble was a mantua-maker, and had a room m the hotel where 
Odell was sick. It was said, that Mrs. Selby was in her room during the 
illness of Mr. Odell. In going to her room, she would have (during the 
first part of OdelPs sickness) had to have passed by the room in which 
Odell was sick. Feely was taken, fourteen miles from town, with what 
was called congestive fever. I never met with a case of yellow fever which 
had a complete remission, like the ordinary ague. I am satisfied that 
Mrs. Kimble had such a remission. 

Mrs. Kimble did not come into Odell's room. Odell had two rooms : 
while he occupied one, the first, it was necessary to pass it, in following 
the staircase to Mrs. Kimble's room ; when he was removed to the second 
room, it was not so. 

I have known of several who had the fever after leaving Providence ; 
in no case, however, did it spread in those places to which they had gone. 
For instance, Mr. Graves and Mr. Hayne, clerks in Mr. McFall's store, 
left in the beginning of the epidemic. Graves, on the day that Mrs. 
Kimble died, went to Bunche's Bend, fourteen miles from this town ; he 
was there taken with the yellow fever ; yet no one else in that place had 
it. Hayne left Providence the same day and went in an opposite direc- 
tion, to Joe's Bayou, fifteen miles from this town ; he there took the fever 
and died ; yet not a single case occurred there. 

I am satisfied that the disease is not contagious. Not a solitary case 
which went out from this place spread. Boats in July and August, from 
New Orleans, stopped here every day ; goods, bales and parcels were also 
received every day. It is possible that the fever might have in this 
manner been brought and introduced here ; yet many of those persons 
who had it first, had no connection nor communication with the boats. 

Q. — Do you know of any cases of yellow fever originating out of the 
limits of the town, and in no communication with it ? 

A. — I think I do. Mr. Wood, an overseer on Mr. Sanford's plantation, 
who kept a wood yard some miles above, and had no communication with 
the town, is perhaps one. He may have been on board of boats, and may 
not. I think he was selling wood at the time. During the prevalence 
of the epidemic at Vicksburg, a trader went to Ira J. Manning's planta- 
tion, was taken with the fever and there died ; but there was in this case 
also no spreading of the disease on or in the vicinity of the plantation. 

Q. — During its prevalence here, did fever of any other type occur 
within the limits of the town ? 

A. — No. Everything seemed merged into the yellow fever. As an 
instance ; I know an Irishman, who in endeavoring to mount a horse, fell 

Testimony of Dr. NatJianiel Houghton. 51 

and hurt himself, and he went straight into the yellow fever. Two 
young men were in a wrestle, when one of them got a little hurt, and he 
too went off into the yellow fever. So of other cases ; all seemed to tend 
and merge into yellow fever. 

I should think that about two-thirds of the fatal cases were attended 
with black vomit. Mrs. Campbell, wife of the proprietor of the hotel, 
was taken with the yellow fever, 7th September. The last case of yellow 
fever in this place (Providence) was Sarah, an Irish girl, taken 28th 
November. Attest: W. P. R. 

Dr. Nathaniel Houghton. — I have practiced in this place since 1845. 
Was absent on the first breaking out of the epidemic. Arrived from the 
North on the 13th of September. There had then been ten or eleven 
deaths. I do not know of any cases which originated out of the limits of 
the town, spontaneously. Mrs. Selby never exposed herself to the fever 
as any one knows of; she had no communication with any steamboats; 
was in the habit of going out very little. Pretty much all I know 
regarding her case is by report. I did not attend her. I saw no cases 
which led me to suspect contagion. I know of no local cause which 
should predispose this town in particular to those severe attacks of yellow 
fever ; yet, like most other places similarly situated, it is dirty and filthy. 
Do not think there were any stagnant waters in the place at that time of 
the year. The lake, which lies about half a mile off, is clear. There 
was no yellow fever on either of its sides, except single cases which had 
been carried there from the town. Most of them were persons who 
usually resided in the town, but were temporarily in the country. I saw 
a good many cases of black vomit, and I saw children who had the fever ; 
but adults seemed to be most subject to it. Saw in the meantime very 
little of any kind of disease ; they all seemed to run into yellow fever. 
We had a remarkable season ; a very pure, dry atmosphere, with a 
prevalence of North winds, both before and during the rage of the fever. 
I noticed no particular change in the health or condition of animals, 
except, perhaps, I may mention that the musquetoes were more numerous 
than was ever known before. During my stay at the North, my books were 
locked in my office, which remained closed. On my return I found them in 
good condition, as free from mould as is usual. I did not notice any- 
where any unusually tendency to mould. I do not regard the fever of 
the past season as contagious in the proper sense ; yet, for ought I know, 
it may have been infectious in bales of goods, &c. 

I am not prepared to express any opinion in regard to the question as 
to whether the fever was of domestic origin with us or otherwise. As an 
opinion, I may say that I do not think that a quarantine would have pro- 
tected us from it, and am rather inclined to the opinion that it originated 
with us, and was not imported. The fever has not been so severe and 
fatal on negroes as with whites. Mulattoes were more subject to it than 
negroes. Adults were more subject to it than children. I have not no- 
ticed that habits have had anything particularly to do in determining or 
predisposing an attack or spread of the fever. The disease did not spread 

52 Testimony of Judge Louis Selby. 

in the neighboring country, even where cases were carried out from town 
and died. On the case of a negro mentioned by Dr. Ball, I think it most 
probable that he had been in town ; though I do not know the particular 
case indicated. The fever subsided at this place about two or three weeks 
ago. I know of no case which originated unquestionably spontaneously 
in the country. Should say the infected district extended three-quarters 
of a mile up and down the river, and about half a mile back. 

Attest: * W.P.R. 

Judge Louis Selby.— My wife, Mrs. Selby, had not, to my knowledge, 
been exposed to bales of goods or anything of the kind,^ coming 
from New Orleans, previous to her sickness and death. She died 
on the 2d September ; on the fifth day of the fever ; though she had 
been unwell, and had been complaining of illness for some time previously. 
She had been in feeble health for a long time. A short time before the 
fever she had been eating green apples and what we call maypops (fruit 
of the Passi Flora incarnata.) I had previously received via the city, I 
think a couple of books and a little stationery ; I should say one-half ream 
of paper ; but they were carried directly to my office, about one hnndred 
and fifty yards from the house. I do not think my wife ever saw them. 
I have a negro man who frequently goes to boats when they land — he 
sleeps some six or seven rods from the house. I think Mrs. Selby did not 
call on Mrs. Campbell (the landlady) previous to her attack of the fever, 
for I am of opinion that Mrs. C. was absent at the time. During Mrs. 
Campbell's absence, I do not think that Mrs. Selby ever called at the ho- 
tel ; yet I think it probable that she might have passed by it. Mrs. Selby 
had black vomit previous to her death ; copious and abundant ; seven hours 
after which she died. I did not notice any particular yellowness of her 
skin, though I did notice some post mortem purplish spots. Am not cer- 
tain whether I noticed them before she died. I am as certain that Mrs. Selby 
did not catch the fever of anybody as I am of anything of which I am 
not absolutely sure — in other words, that is my firm belief. I think the 
fever was not contagious, but that certain localities may have become in- 
fected in a manner to induce the disease ; but when cases have been carried 
out of the infected district into other localities it did not spread. 

Q. — Have you, during the prevalence of the epidemic, or before, ob- 
served any local causes to which you could attribute the rise or continu- 
ance of the disease? 

A. — I think I have, and I have given particular attention to this matter : 

1. During the winter there was a large quantity of sawdust spread in 
the streets, in some portions of the town. In summer, this mixed with 
the mud, and produced a very disagreeable smell. 

2. In certain parts of the town there are filthy localities — for instance, 
I know an Irishman who has a cow and calf, a horse and a hoo-, and they 
all live pretty much in common with the family. 

3. The high water mark of the river has been considerably lower this 
season than is usual, and thus a greater depth and larger surface of the 

Testimony of Mr. Bobert Campbell. 53 

bank has been exposed than is common. I have lived here since 1829, 
and do not remember a season which has not had higher water than the 
past one. I do not know that on the shore any portions of fresh earth 
have been exposed by excavations ; no new clearing up of land. The 
season has been remarkably dry. 

Q. — For a short time preceding, and during the prevalence of the epi- 
demic, did you observe anything remarkable, as to the occurrence of 
mould upon books, furniture, &c. ? 

A. — I did. I have observed, I think, that these articles moulded twenty 
times, I might say one hundred times more during the epidemic, even not- 
withstanding the remarkable dryness of the season. I called the atten- 
tion of Dr. Larche to the abundance of the toadstools in my yard ; almost 
covering it entirely ; they were white, and of all sizes, domed and shaped 
like an umbrella. 

Q. — Did you observe any peculiarity in the growth of vegetables ? 

A. — The fig trees did not produce so many figs as usual, nor were those 
which did grow of so good a quality as is usual. The grass in some 
places, especially the Bermuda grass, grew remarkably fast. I mentioned 
the circumstance to Dr. Larche, and he had also observed the same. I 
may also mention that my yard is generally almost alive in the spring, 
&c, with mocking birds ; but I thought it a little singular that during the 
whole time of sickness, I noticed only one — about the time when the sick- 
ness commenced I saw plenty of them. My wife was taken first, then my 
oldest son. When he was getting better, I killed a chicken for him, but 
he could not eat it. I tasted it, and it had a peculiar disagreeable flavor. 
On examining the rest of the poultry, which appeared in pretty good 
condition, I found them poor and lean, and even some of them dying. In 
1829, 1 was in New Orleans, and owing to the prevalence of the yellow 
fever, I went to Bay St. Louis, and found the fever there also very bad. 
I then went fifty or a hundred miles away into an old camp, where I was 
sick for a little time. Whether I had the yellow fever, I do not know. 
If I had it, it was very slightly. I do not think that the disease was really 
very bad here this year, under proper treatment ; not near so bad as I 
saw it in 1829. I think that many killed themselves with medicines 
which would have killed a well person. I had several cases in my family, 
but lost none except my wife (the first case.) I know nothing in regard 
to the circumstances connected with Pat Feely's case. He died about 
the time my wife did. 


Population of Providence, near 1000 

" during the epidemic reduced to near 400 

Number of deaths about 165 

Whole number of cases of fever about twice as many, viz — near 330. 

Attest: W. P.R. 

December 25th. 

Mr. Robert Campbell, landlord of the Sparrow House, Providence, 
La. — My wife returned, on the 26th of August, from . She was 

54 Testimony of Mr. John Maxwell. 

taken with the fever on the 6th of September. Mr. Odell staid in room 
No. 13 two days, then went to room No. 8, in the Sparrow House. Any 
person going to Mrs. Kimble's room by the front way, would have to 
pass by No. 13. Do not think that Mrs. Selby was here during the time 
of Odell's sickness at all. The Stacy came about a week after Mr. Odell 
arrived. She stopped, I should think, about eight hours. Dr. Bowman and 
myself went on board of her. Others might have gone on board, for 
ought I know ; though I saw none go aboard. It is my opinion that the 
fever originated here with us. I have seen nothing to make me believe 
it was contagious. I have reasons for believing that it was not contagious 
—for instance, Mr. W. T. Curry and Mr. Frank Pennington nursed 
patients here for a month ; then went out to Drew's plantation, on Lake 
Providence, where their families were. There they found as many as 
thirty-two persons crowded together in a house, or in three small rooms. 
Curry and Pennington both had the fever there, yet no one there took it 
from them. People were going aboard the boats which were stopping 
here every day, and goods were also received from the boats as usual. 
Attest: W. P. R. 

John Maxwell, (Surveyor). — My opinion is that the fever was brought 
here through the Orleans mail. Some think it was brought by the D. S. 
Stacey. I did not go aboard of her. The mails were left aboard the 
wharf-boat ; generally from one to two and three hours, and sometimes 
all night. The wharf-boat sunk about the 1st of November or the last of 
October. Think the inhabitants were not in the habit of going aboard of 
the wharf-boat much. We were not at the time receiving a very large 
quantity of goods ; yet, we were receiving regular shipments of ice, cigars, 
&c. Do not know of the reception of any bagging or rope. There was 
some bagging aboard the wharf-boat when it sunk. I think that certain 
localities became infected and were infectious during the epidemic ; but 
when the disease was carried away to other localities it did not spread. 
I keep a barometer and thermometer, and observe both. At no time in 
the summer did I observe the thermometer above 74 deg., i. e. at about 
sunrise, or a little after ; being the usual time of my observation. This 
has been the dryest fall we have had for years. 

Do not know the precise date of the first frost that occurred here. In 
another portion of the township it occurred, I learn, on the 24th of Sep- 
tember. On the morning of that day my thermometer indicated a temper- 
ature of 46 deg. I have not observed that books and clothing have been 
more apt to mould during this season than in other years. I know of no 
local causes which should have induced the fever at this place. There was 
some saw dust spread in some of the streets about twelve months ago, 
not, however, in very large quantities, that I am aware of. My servant 
girl told me that Mrs. Selby did visit Mrs. Kimble ( the mantua-maker ), 
at the Sparrow House, previous to her illness and death. 

Mary, (servant girl, colored,) called in, and says : that she does not 
know whether Mrs. Selby did visit Mrs. Kimble or not. Said she washed 
for Mrs. Kimble. Mrs. Selby's maid ( colored girl ) said that Mrs. Selby 

Testimony of Mr. W. T. Curry. 55 

had not been to see Mrs. Kimble for a long time previous to her having 
the fever. 

Mr. Maxwell, (continued). — At high water the river did not rise so 
high as usual by some inches, though the difference was less than one 
foot ; but taking the whole season together, I do not think the river bank 
was left more exposed than usual. My opinion that the fever was imported 
by the mails is partly founded on the fact that the postmaster and his 
family were among the earliest ( though not the first ) to have the disease. 
The two negroes who were in the habit of carrying the mail from and to 
the wharf-boat, were taken sick first about the 5th or 6th of September ; 
one of them died on the 11th. Mr. Miller, the postmaster, was taken 
about the 9th or 10th, and died on the 13th. His two daughters were 
sick at the same time. They had all of them assisted in opening the 
mail. The postoffice is in the West side of the town. These were the 
first cases in that vicinity, except one, Mr. Clark, who was in the habit of 
going frequently to the boats as they landed. Mr. Dunn, the son-in-law 
of Mr. Miller, then also took the disease and died. His family then went 
to Greenville, Miss., and there had the fever ; but did not communicate it 
to the people of Greenville. Our Eastern mail comes by way of New 
Orleans. A great many New Orleans papers are received, and some of 
them distributed throughout the surrounding country. In the country 
where these papers were received the fever did not occur. We had cases 
of fever and deaths therefrom after several light frosts. 

The first killing and freezing frost occurred on December 8th. This I 
take from a record kept by myself. Since that we have had no cases of 

Population of Providence when the epidemic commenced, say 550 
The epidemic commenced, say 10th or 12th of September, all 

had left but, say 280 

Total number of cases in or near Providence 260 

Total number of deaths (up to Dec. 25), 152 

Number of citizens escaping the epidemic, all supposed to have 
had it before, white and black 19 

On the Mississippi side of the river, immediately opposite to Providence, 
are the cotton plantations of Mr. Parkes and Mr. Duncan. During the 
prevalence of the epidemic, no intercourse with Providence was permitted, 
and no case of yellow fever occurred on these plantations. 

Attest: W.P.R. 

Mr. W. T. Currt, (Curry & Pennington,) wharfmaster : — Extract 
from the Register: 

August 1st. — By the Frank Lyon were received 11 bales India bagging, 
with a large freight of groceries, &c, (worth, say $15,000 or $20,000.) 

August^Yth. — By the Golden Gate were received a large lot of sundries. 

August 8th. — Frank Lyon — every kind of plantation supplies. 

August 9th. — By the Swamp Fox — 44 bales of rope, &c. Boat lay 
here three or four hours — had been run into below while coming up ; and 

56 Testimony of George J. Hook and Hercules Hillrmn. 

waited here to make out a protest. Many people went aboard of her. 
She had fever on board. ]fl 

August 12th, 6 o'clock, P. M.— The Memphis staid one hour— left 20 
bbls. lime, 10 bbls. cement, 1 bbl. plaster, and 5 bags plaster hair. 

August 15th.— By the Frank Lyon, usual supplies; including India 
bagging, rope, Lowell cloth, &c. 

August 22d.— Received lot of miscellany from Vicksburg; shipped 
while the fever was there. 

August 24th.— At 3 o'clock, P. M., the I). S. Stacy arrived, snagged— 
left a large lot of all kinds of things. Must have remained here six hours. 
Some people went on board. 

It is my opinion that the yellow fever must have originated here, and 
was not imported. Attest : W. P. R. 

December 27th. 

George J. Hook, dry goods merchant, Providence. — I know of about 
one dozen persons in this place, who were exposed to the fever, that did 
not take it. I am one ; Mr. Pennington is another ; Mrs. Kauffman and 
three children. 

I received dry goods during the continuance of the epidemic. When 
I opened my store I noticed that my shoes were unusually musty and 
mouldy, my other dry goods also. 

Dry goods were being received all along during the fever in August 
and September, &c. I also distinguished the peculiar odor mentioned by 
some others ; a very unusual and remarkable odor ; which I cannot describe. 
It seemed to run in veins through the town. I think that the fever 
originated here. Do not believe it was contagious. 

Attest: W. P. R. 

Hercules Hillman. — I am a resident of- this place, but own a small 
plantation below, but do not live at it. I am knowing to the fact that 
Mr. John Tucker, brother of Gov. Tucker, lived on the river bank, some 
seven miles above Providence. He was taken sick with the fever, and 
died in October. There is no boat landing at his place. He did not come 
to town. He was sick seven or eight days, but had been complaining 
before the time of the decided attack of fever. He had black vomit. He 
was a planter ; and it is thought that he was not at all exposed to the 
fever. If any of his negroes came to town, they did it unbeknown and 
secretly. He was very scary and careful not to expose himself at all. 
Would not touch anything which came from this town ; not even the 
smallest rag. There are some pools of water back of this place, very 
close to him. 

Old Mr. Triplet, who lived off from this place, died with the fever. It 
is, however, said that he caught it from town. 

I believe that feathers, or bagging, or cloth, transport the fever from one 
place to another. I would not, myself, for anything, sleep on a bed on 
which a man had died of, or had yellow fever ; although I am inclined to 
think that I had the fever in 1839. I think it came to this place by 
being brought by the steamboats. 

Testimony of If. B. Shaw. 57 

For some particulars inquire of my brother, George Hillman, master 
warden, New Orleans. Attest : W. P. R. 

TESTIMONY OF H. B. SHAW, Vidalia, La., Dec. 31, 1853. 
Dn. J. L. Riddxll, New Orleans : 

Dear Sir : — As requested by you, I will now answer the questions rela- 
tive to the yellow fever epidemic in Vidalia and its vicinity, during the 
year 1853, as well as I can from recollection, and by reference to memo- 
randa made by me during the time of the epidemic. 

Vidalia is a small village on the right bank of the Mississippi river, 
nearly opposite Natchez. Its population is somewhere between fifty and 
sixty persons, about two-thirds white, and mostly adult males. It is sit- 
uated in a planting region, and has no commerce ; its inhabitants being 
principally officers of court, or connected therewith. The residences are 
not crowded together, but occupy separate lots of ground, and have open 
spaces around them. Above and below the village on the river, and in 
the rear, are extensive cotton plantations, which have been cleared up and 
settled a great many years since. The soil is of the ordinary alluvial 
character, somewhat intermixed with fluviatile sand. The face of the 
country is the same as is common on the Western bank of the river, 
and the rain water falling on it flows freely and rapidly off. There are 
no marshes near, and there are but few ponds of stagnant water, and 
those of but small extent. The plantations are very well drained. There 
has not been any recent clearing of land, or disturbing of the soil, in the 
neighborhood, otherwise than by ordinary cultivation of the fields. The 
drinking water used is obtained exclusively from underground cisterns ; 
no wells are used. This locality has long been considered to be healthy; 
more so, indeed, than most of similar places on the river. I have not 
known any case of yellow fever to originate here during fourteen years 
of constant residence, until this year, and am informed by persons of un- 
doubted veracity ; who have resided in the immediate vicinity for over 
fifty years ; that they have never known of any such. Certainly, that 
disease has never, within the knowledge of living man, been epidemic in 
Vidalia until 1853. 

No register was kept here, and I cannot give any precise information 
as to the meteorology of the past summer. I can only state from recol- 
lection that the early part of that season was dry and hot, and the months 
of July and August were wet and hot. The quantity of rain which fell 
during those two months by far exceeded their average. For some time 
previous to the epidemic, and during its prevalence, the course of the 
winds was generally from easterly points. 

I do not recollect to have observed anything unusual or remarkable in 
the animal or vegetable kingdoms prior to or during the epidemic ; cer- 
tainly none other than was due to the character of the weather. 

The population of the village during the epidemic was between fifty 
and sixty persons, including those who were temporarily there. About 

58 Testimony of H. B. Shaw. 

two-thirds were whites; mostly adult males; very few being under ten 
years of age. Of this number, there died of yellow fever, five white adult 
males, and three females; four children, males, and two females ; and two 
blacks. There were in the neighborhood, one white male adult, one 
child, and several blacks, who also died of yellow fever. There was but 
one white resident of the village, and three or four blacks who did not 
have the fever. In the village and its immediate vicinity there were over 
forty cases of yellow fever among the whites, and over thirty among the 
blacks. Of the adult inhabitants, none were natives of the place, but all 
were of the United States, except one German woman. 

The yellow fever evidently become epidemic m Natchez about the mid- 
dle of August, at which time Vidalia was healthy, though communication 
between the two places was frequent and uninterrupted for some length 
of time. On or about the 20th August, the German woman above men- 
tioned, recently from New Orleans, was sent to Vidalia sick, from the 
quarantine station at Natchez, where she had been two or three days. 
The attending physicians pronounced her disease to be yellow fever ; and 
in a few days she died, having black vomit, and bleeding from the nose 
and gums. On the 22d August, a gentleman who had left New Orleans 
two days previously, arrived at Vidalia, apparently well. On the_ third 
day after his arrival he was taken down with yellow fever, from which he 
recovered. On the 23d, a family came over from Natchez; the man sick 
of what proved to be yellow fever, from which he recovered, after a severe 
and tedious illness. Up to the 25th, there was no other case of yellow 
fever in Vidalia. In a very few days the yellow fever broke out in a 
family residing in a house not far from those in which were the sick 
above named. Of that family, all whites, five died. About this time 
the disease made its appearance in some members of a family residing 
half a mile below the village, on a plantation. Those first attacked had 
been a few days before in Natchez. From that time the disease spread 
in all directions ; new cases occurring every day, until the whole popula- 
tion had undergone it. 

I am unable to give the particulars of cases, or describe symptoms, 
further than to say, that usually the first were apparently slight, and not 
supposed to be serious ; it was, however, rapidly developed yellow fever, 
and very malignant in its character ; running its course in the fatal cases, 
in from three to five days. Some of the attacks were violent from the 
first symptom observed. Every death within my knowledge, except one, 
was preceded by black vomit ; that one was of a child, who passed the 
black matter by purging. Generally they had bleeding from the nose 
and gums. I know of no case of recoveiy after black vomit ; though 
several such were said to have occurred. 

Some of those having the yellow fever, were known to have contracted 
it in New Orleans and Natchez ; but I know of none from contact with 
goods or clothes. I cannot say positively that any took the disease by 
communication with or nursing the sick ; but I do know that persons who 
contracted it elsewhere, went to places where, at the time of their arrival, 

Testimony of H. B. Shaw. 50 

none were sick, and that in three or four days afterwards, the disease at- 
tacked the families, and spread regularly and progressively. Of this fact 
there is testimony enough which cannot be disputed. I know of but two 
whites exposed to communication and contact with the sick, who escaped 
the fever, except persons who had previously had it. These instances oc- 
curred in my own family. Some members of my family had been in 
Natchez, after the fever was prevalent there, though not supposed to be 
epidemic. In a few days afterwards they had the yellow fever, which at- 
tacked every other member in turn, except two children, and three adults 
who had previously had it. My residence is isolated from all others ; a 
plantation intervening between it and Vidalia ; the house large and well 
ventilated, and no marshes or ponds near it. Except those mentioned as 
first attacked, none of the others who were afterwards sick, had been in 
Vidalia or Natchez, or in any other place where the fever prevailed. 
There were several instances where the disease appeared on plantations 
having intercourse with infected places, and none, within my knowledge, 
on plantations not having such intercourse. 

As to the social condition of the population, I have to say that gener- 
ally our people are not intemperate ; though some of them were so ; and 
that abject poverty and want are not known among us. With the in- 
temperate the disease was generally violent, and short in its course, but 
there were also cases of equal violence and rapidity among some known 
to be strictly temperate. The first case known to be of home origin — I 
mean among persons who had not gone to an infected place — occurred in a 
small house, somewhat crowded with a large family. In the course of a 
week after the cases brought to Vidalia, nearly all that family died. 

From the first appearance of the epidemic until it finally left us, all 
fevers here seemed to assume the type, or as we call it, ran into the yel- 
low fever. I know of but one fatal case without black vomit. 

The development of the disease in those known to have contracted it 
elsewhere, was usually in from three to five days from their exposure. In 
those cases believed to have been contracted by communication with the 
sick, the time of development was uncertain and irregular ; sometimes in 
two or three days, and sometimes much longer. In my own family there 
were some taken three or four days after the first known exposure, and 
others not for several weeks. 

I do not doubt the epidemic to have been genuine yellow fever ; I 
have seen it many times before. In Natchez, in 1839, during the epi- 
demic of that year, when I had it myself; and in 1847, 1 saw unmistaka- 
ble cases on steamboats from New Orleans. I know of one person who had 
the fever this year, after having previously had it twice ; and one who, after 
having had it in 1837, had it this year again. In my family there were 
three of us ; adult whites; who had the fever in Natchez, in 1839. We 
nursed our sick for over two months. I was myself in Natchez almost 
every day during the greatest virulence of the epidemic there, and much 
exposed, and yet none of us three were attacked this year. I know of but 
one white person in Vidalia who entirely escaped the fever, and that one 

60 Testimony of Dr. W. B. Wood. 

kept pretty much aloof from the sick. My own children, who all had 
the fever, were born and reared in the house where I live ; and the two 
children who escaped it were my brother's ; who, though born here, had 
been for several years at the North, and this was the first summer passed 
by them again in the South. 

I do not know of any person hereabouts who had not previously had 
the fever ; and had much communication with the sick, without taking it. 
I do not know of any case which I believe to have been of spontaneous 

TESTIMONY OF DR. W. B. WOOD, Centreville, La. ,November 14th, 1853. 
E. H. Barton, M. D., New Orleans. 

Dear Sir : — Your favor of the 1st inst, accompanying the " cir- 
cular of the Sanitary Commission," was duly received ; a press of 
professional business has prevented my attending to both, at an earlier 

At your request, I inclose to your address, a copy of the article 
which I published in the Planters' Banner, on the 1st of September 
last, on the subject of " quarantine in yellow fever," along with 
the "circular of the Sanitary Commission ;" the interrogatories con- 
tained therein, having been answered as concisely as practicable. 

It will be seen by reference to the " circular," that the first case 
of yellow fever that occurred in our village, appeared on the 15th of 
September; was well marked in all its symptoms, and terminated 
fatally, on the ninth day, from a relapse which occurred on the fifth 
day ; this was a mulatto boy, aged about 25 ; a cooper by trade ; who 
worked and slept in a cooper shop, situated immediately on the bank 
of the Bayou Teche. This boy had had no intercourse with any 
person having yellow fever, nor had he been out of the place to ex- 
pose himself to any locality where the fever could possibly be pre- 
vailing. I regard this case, beyond a doubt, as having originated 
spontaneously here, without any suspicion of intercourse with other 
cases of the disease. 

Centreville is situated on the South bank of the Bayou Te"che; the 
Bayou at this point, running from West due East ; a North wind 
then would pass directly from the Bayou into the village. The prin- 
cipal part of the dwellings are situated on a ridge of land running 
parallel with the Bayou, and removed from it, from three hundred to 
six hundred feet ; this ridge is several feet above the level of the 
water. But between this ridge and the Bayou, and directly in front 
of the town, is situated, immediately on the bank of the T6che, three 
large coopering establishments, and a large saw mill; all of which 
have been in active operation for several years ; and with the view 
of raising the low, marshy places around them, they have been in the 
habit, instead of burning the chips, shavings, &c, accumulating about 
them, of throwing them into the lowest places, and into the edge of 
the water in the Bayou, with the view of making a substitute for a 

Testimony of Dr. W. B. Wood. 61 

wharf, at which steamboats could more conveniently land in low 
water. This practice has filled the marshy places about each, and 
made it comparatively dry around them ; but during wet weather the 
whole mass seems to be afloat, and underneath the surface, is in a very 
decayed condition ; this, too, is all exposed to the rays of a hot sun 
in summer. Now so long as the wind blew from the village towards 
the Bayou, our town remained perfectly healthy ; but, so soon as it 
changed from South, or Southwest to North, which occurred on the 
18th of September, and continued to blow steadily from that quarter, 
as it did, for at least two weeks ; the yellow fever appeared in the 
village and spread in all directions ; but, particularly in the track of 
the wind, as it came from the bayou, passing over the largest bank 
of decaying chips and shavings could the disease be traced, and it 
did leave its plainest mark. 

I believe the disease originated spontaneously here, and was not 
imported into Centreville from Pattersonville, or any other place; and 
having watched closely its rise and spread at this point, during the 
period embraced between the occurrence of the first case, (15th Sep- 
tember,) and its disappearance, (about 1st November,) as an epidemic, 
I have been unable to discover one single fact going to prove any con- 
tagiousness in the disease, or to discover the slightest evidence in any 
case where it has been propagated from one person to another; as we 
can trace the spread of the measles and small pox among the nurses 
and attendants. 

I know that here, as at other places, where the epidemic has prevailed 
during the past season, that persons standing off at a safe distance ; 
having neither the courage nor the capacity to approach near enough 
to town to make a correct examination of the facts in the case, can 
boldly contradict the opinions and observations of those who remained 
on the ground and met the enemy face to face, giving what aid and 
succor they could to those who fell victims to the scourge, and assert 
most positively, (perhaps furnishing their opinions to some distant 
newspaper) that the yellow fever was imported into Centreville, from 
Pattersonville, or New Orleans, with a box of shoes, or a keg of nails; 
and that in their opinion it is as contagious as small pox or measles ; 
and can only be kept out of a community as our parish authorities 
kept it out of St. Mary, by the establishment of an extensive and op- 
' pressive system of quarantine regulations. 

The Police Jury of the parish of St. Mary, " with the view of pre- 
venting the introduction and spread of yellow fever " within our limits, 
established the strictest quarantine regulations, about the middle of 
August, and stationed health officers on the Atchafalaya, near the mouth 
of Bayou T6che, and at Berwick's Bay ; rendering it impossible for 
steamboats or vessels from New Orleans or the coast, to get into our 
parish without submitting themselves and their passengers to the quar- 
antine law, under penalty of being fired into and sunk if they attempted 
to pass up the Bayou Teche without submitting to the delay required ! 

62 Testimony of Dr. W. B. Wood. 

These regulations required boats and passengers to remain nine days 
from the time they left any port or place where yellow fever was pre- 
vailing as an epidemic, before they could even enter the Bayou Teche 
and proceed on their journey to Newtown or St. Martinsville above 
this ; and in some instances they were kept in quarantine for eighteen 
days ; as was the case with the steamer Pitser Miller. Think of that, 
ye advocates of quarantine laws ! The parish authorities of St. Mary 
detaining a steamboat, loaded with freight and passengers, in quaran- 
tine, eighteen days ; which only asked the privilege of passing directly 
through the parish, on her way to St. Martin's parish ! and then tell 
me how long the authorities of the parish of Ascension or Iberville, 
lying as they do, on both sides of the Mississippi river, would detain 
the Magnolia or the Southern Belle, or any other steamboat, loaded 
with freight and passengers for Concordia parish, or Bayou Sara, in 
quarantine, before they would allow them to proceed on their way up 
the Mississippi river 1 

And yet, with all these rigid quarantine regulations enforced in St. 
Mary ; subjecting the whole community to great expense, and greatly 
endangering the lives of those subjected to quarantine; besides, being 
the greatest inconvenience that our traveling population could be forced 
into; the yellow fever made its appearance at Pattersonville, nearest 
the quarantine stations, early in September, and at Centreville on the 
15th of the same month ! 

These two places have never before been visited by an epidemic of 
yellow fever, and if we were to use the same sort of reasoning on the 
subject that the advocates of contagion and importation do, to con- 
vince the world that the disease is of foreign origin, and consequently 
imported; we might, arguing with as much plausibility and truth, show 
to the world that the quarantine regulations, for the first time enforced 
in St. Mary's Parish, had been the cause of the epidemic at Patter- 
sonville and Centreville. 

Centreville is considered a healthy place, and was supposed to be 
free from any infection which might possibly give rise to yellow fever. 
But what is true of the local condition of Centreville in a sanitary point 
of view ; if closely investigated at other points where yellow fever has 
prevailed epidemically the past summer and fall ; would, perhaps, be 
found to exist at these places also. 

In my opinion, it is true in reference to New Orleans, to Baton ' 
Rouge, to Bayou Sara, to Natchez, and other places, and may be true, 
when investigated, at all other points. 

If we would arrest the spread of yellow fever in the Southwest ; in 
my humble opinion ; we must rely upon a rigid system of police, car- 
rying out at a proper season, a correct and well directed plan of sani- 
tary measures in our towns and cities, and not upon any system of qua- 
rantine regulations, which should be regarded as a relic of the barba- 
rous ages, and as a stigma upon the enlightened and progressive age 
in which we live. They have signally failed in all past experiments, 

Testimony of S. B. Crocheron. 63 

and should now be regarded, in this enlightened Christian age, as a dis- 
grace to any civilized community ; calculated, when rigidly enforced ; 
as they were in the Parish of St. Mary, to entail more misery upon a 
community than the plague itself. 

To Hon. A. D. Ckossman, New Orleans. 

The name of the locality is the town of Natchitoches, and the lower 
portion of the Parish of Natchitoches. Its limits and boundaries are : 
Little river on the East, and pine and sandy lands on the North, with 
a bayou; and on the West pine hills and springs of pure water, and a 
lake about a mile distant ; and on the South by old Red River. The 
surface soil is sandy and clay, and alluvial soil. Drinking water 
principally is cistern water; not much spring water; being very incon- 
venient to get. No lands cleared ; ditches of the town cleaned out 
in August last ; wells, canals, levees, improving roads, none ; a great 
deal of paving done in July and August. Marshes, none ; a pond of 
water, about a half-acre, in lower part of town, where the least sick- 
ness was ; river not navigable. All water runs freely off in the rivers 
and bayous. 

Meteorological observations, none. Previous to the epidemic, say 
a month, was very wet ; during the epidemic quite dry, As the epi- 
demic subsided, very hard rains set in. Nothing remarkable in the ani- 
mal or vegetable kingdom, excepting the caterpillar or cotton worm, 
which was very abundant. 

From yellow fever about one hundred and eighty deaths in 
this parish, and deduct about one hundred from the one hundred and 
eighty, for other fevers and diseases ; leaving about eighty persons 
that died from what is here and elsewhere called yellow fever. Num- 
ber of adults, children, male or female, white or black, foreign or 
native, I cannot give. 

The first case was on the 10th of September; which I did not see ; 
and died on the third day. The second case was on the 17th, and I 
saw that on the third day ; and that case had many of the typhoid 
symytons, and died on the 20th, six days after the first attack, with 
black vomit ; and no other case in town until the 23d of September, 
at which time it came upon us like a thunder storm in the Gulf. 
None of the cases had been in a yellow fever district. 

From handling of goods, clothing, and or from direct intercourse 
with others ; none. I do not believe it to be contagious. 

The two first cases originated spontaneously ; neither of them having 
been either directly or indirectly exposed. Those two cases were living 
at or near the junction of the two rivers, on the Southeast of the dwell- 
ing ; and a stagnant pond on the West of the buildings. 

Temperate,, intemperate, isolated, or crowded houses; no difference; 
as it had no respect to persons ; and, as to the temperate, what I saw, the 
attacks were equally severe, but more manageable. 

64 Testimony of Br. J. M. W. Picton. 

First, pain in the bones ; the most acute and torturing pain was in the 
two sacro illiae symphyses and head ; some with red, watery eyes, and 
some with a pearly white and dry eye, to last during the attack ; after 
the bones paining awhile, a chill — some very hard — lasting from ten to 
sixty minutes; and that followed by fever.; in some cases, the pulse 140, 
and in some not over 120 ; and the disease varying from three to seven 
days. In all cases that could be brought under the influence of mercury, 
they recovered ; and some that mercurials would not touch, and pass 
the sixth day, recovered. 

Quinine has killed more than the fever. 

In what proportion of cases was the black vomit? Three-tenths. 

Yellowness of skin, all. Haemorrhage, none. 

Did other types of fever prevail at the same time ? Yes ! other types 
prevailed ; there was a large number of cases of simple remittent fever ; 
eighteen in one family ; all of which recovered ; but in many cases of 
simple remittent fevers, the case would take on the character of the ma- 
lignant form, and if not closely watched, would run into the malignant 
bilious fever. 

Q. — Assuming the propagation of the disease from exposure, either to 
an infected atmosphere, to personal communication with the sick, or con- 
tact with goods or clothing, either of the sick or transmitted from a local- 
ity considered infected ; what time intervened between the exposure and 
the appearance of premonitory symptoms, and also the development of 
the disease? 

A. — After twenty-four miles night ride, and seventy-two hours close 
attention on a lady ; twenty-four hours after I was taken down ; three 
hours before I was taken to bed, had all the premonitory symptoms of 
malignant bilious fever ; and of several others of the family of the lady, 
not one took the disease. This was my first summer in Louisiana. 

Do you regard the epidemic as true yellow fever ? I do not regard it 
as true yellow fever. 

Have you ever seen this disease before ? I have not. 

I saw three cases of black vomit ; also, a number of cases recovered 
thereafter. None recovered; although four, reported by citizens, of my 

Of the cases that I attended, all where the first attack: the greatest 
number of deaths were on the third and fourth days. 



Case 1. — Bay of St. Louis, Miss. — His first case at the Bay of St. Louis 
occurred on the fifteenth of July, the second on the seventeenth. The 
first was a resident of New Orleans, the second had just arrived from Nic- 
aragua. Both were young men, and both were taken sick on board of the 
steamboat from New Orleans, on their passage across the Lake ; these were 
the first cases occurring at the Bay of St. Louis. Previous to this time 

Testimony of Dr. Jones, Dr. Davis, Mr. Pradas and Mr. M. McRae. G5 

intermittents prevailed generally. The Dr. returned to town, and cannot 
say if the disease spread from these cases. 

Dr. Picton thinks the disease communicable from one person to another, 
wherever the epidemic influence prevails : thinks the disease was imported 
this year. The weather at the Bay of St. Louis was warm during the 
day and rather cool at night during the latter part of August and first of 
September ; Westerly winds prevailed during the month of July and first 
of August. Noticed much formation of mould during the summer ; has 
never seen a second case of yellow fever occurring in the same individual. 
Thinks the intemperate are more liable, and the attack more likely to be 
fatal ; thinks the epidemic ceased from want of subjects ; has seen two 
cases of recovery from black vomit ; one was a young lady of fourteen ; 
the other a^negro of twelve years of age. During the height of the epi- 
demic in the city, the Dr. experienced a giddy sensation when visiting 
close rooms, or rooms containing many patients ; this was relieved only 
by breathing the open air. Always observed a peculiar odor in yellow 
fever patients; first noticed this in 184*7. 


Ocean Springs, Miss. — The first case of yellow fever at Ocean Springs, 
was Mr. Waters, of the city, early in August ; had been sick three or four 
days before visiting him ; he slept in the garret with some thirty others, 
(unacclimated.) The next case was young Porter, who arrived a month 
after ; he recovered ; the third case Wm. Ames, a resident of Mississippi ; 
did not at the time consider it a case of yellow fever ; from after cases 
recognizes it as fever. The children of Dr. Austin were taken in succes- 
sion soon after Mr. Porter. 


Ocean Springs. — His daughter remained two days in Dr. Austin's 
house, was taken sick, and died ; it then spread through the family, and 
all but two, a child and a little servant girl, escaped. The interval was 
about one day; the first case 12th September. 


Biloxi, Miss. — Mr. Pradas is concerned in the Live Oak Hotel ; he 
states that a man came to the city during the epidemic, returned to Bi- 
loxi, had the fever and died. This was not the first or only case. Has 
seen persons who were unacclimated frequent the room of the sick man, 
who did not take the fever. Knows of no instance where the disease 
seemed to be communicated from one person to another. 


Madison County, Miss. — Mr. McRae is from Harrison county, Misssis- 
sippi. Resided last summer forty miles back from Biloxi; knows of no 

66 Testimony of Dr. N. B. Benedict and Dr. John V. Wren. 

case which occurred there, which had not been exposed in Biloxi. A Mr. 
Walker made a short visit to Biloxi, returned, and died in one week; sev- 
eral members of his family were taken sick. 

At Pascagoula, Mrs. Delmas attended relatives who came from New 
Orleans ; was taken sick after nursing them. Col. Bliss died with yellow 
fever at Pascagoula ; he had been in New Orleans seventeen days before. 
A man named Foley, a laborer, returned from Mobile, and died with fever. 
Miss Fitz resided two hundred yards from Mrs. Delmas ; was in constant 
attendance upon Mrs. D., but escaped. 

There was much rain early in the summer ; subsequently it was dry ; 
not more heat than usual. The Southwest winds commenced one month 
earlier this year than usual : there was not much moisture ; mosquitoes 
were in greater number, and flies were seen earlier. 

Mr. Ramsey's family was taken with the same disease which prevailed 
in the neighborhood, without having been exposed by communication 
with any sick person. 

Mr. Dickey contracted the fever in Biloxi, returned, and none who at- 
tended him were taken. 

Mr. Hatton's family, which was as numerous as Dickey's or Walker's, 
escaped, although exposed. 


Case 1. — John Allen, No. 17, Religious street, occurred on the 1st 
day of June ; sent the man to the Charity Hospital. The locality from 
which he came is very crowded ; the second case was Patrick Gilligan, 
an Irishman, in Tchoupitoulas street. Dr. Benedict has not had the fever ; 
has treated over 400 cases in and near New Orleans. The Dr. gave a 
brief account of the fever in the woods, near " Hollywood," Mobile 
Bay, and promised a full one in writing. [See letter to Dr. Barton, in 


Port &ibson. — Is about one mile square; is bounded by ridges on 
a succession of hills from one to two hundred feet higher than the town, 
which is near the centre of this second table or lower water shed. 
The soil is sandy calcareous ; a kind of yellow clay predominates. Cis- 
tern water is chiefly used ; cisterns underground. 

Disturbance of soil not more than usual in this area. 

Position. — Six miles East of the Mississippi, in a bend of the Bayou 
Pierre, which comes in through the Southeast, passes around the North 
side, and departs through the hills on the West. There is a small cypress 
swamp North by West near the town. Water runs freely from nearly all 
parts of this area to the Bayou. There is very little stagnant water any 
where in the corporation. The maximum temperature 93 dec;., in the 
shade, and only one afternoon ; frequently 90 dog. During June, July 
and August, not below 15 deg. In the early part of the summer frequent 

Testimony of Dr. John V. Wren. 67 

rains; atmosphere very moist, and unusually charged with electricity. 
During the epidemic very dry weather, and after dense and cold fogs ex- 
isted. The wind generally blew from the South and adjoining points, but 
during the epidemic here its course was from the North, Northeast and 
Northwest, though that was about the change of the trade winds. Fruits 
were not as good as usual, insects and dark unhealthy spots appearing on 
peaches, quinces and nectarines. During the last five years flies, gnats 
and mosquitoes have been on the increase. A light blue mould was very 
common on the grain. 

Case 1. — The first case occurred on the 11th day of August, and died 
on the 14th ; was a German bootmaker, who had gone to New Orleans 
for materials, and had the symptoms when he returned. He lived in a 
crowded house, in a filthy part of the town, low situation, being near 
the Bayou, and little above high watermark. 

In from eight to twelve days other cases of sickness occurred in the 
same locality, and some in the same house ; the virulence and number 
of the cases increased, until a second death of black vomit occurred, 
September 2d. The next morning another case of black vomit, and 
several new cases ; some of them in the higher portion of the town. Yet, 
perhaps, all but one had passed by the original locality, or, had been en- 
gaged in business near it. The exception was a lady of one of the best 
families here, who had just returned from Cooper's Wells to a well venti- 
lated house in the highest portion of the town, and who took the fever 
and died with black vomit in twenty-four hours. Previous to the second 
death, a very severe case of sickness occurred on the ridge or upland, 
West of the town ; and which is now pronounced yellow fever. The patient 
was of the nervo-sanguineous temperament ; and had merely passed along 
on the opposite side of the street, where the fever had first appeared. 

Most of those who died were persons of careless and intemperate 
habits, and most of them of a lymphatic temperament. 

The first case was a man who had a short time before returned from 
New Orleans, where the fever was at its most fatal stage as an epidemic. 
The disease spread from square to square for some two or three weeks, 
until the whole village had been visited by it. All classes seemed to be 
equally subject to the disease. The prominent symptoms were the same 
as those occurring in New Orleans ; firstly, chill, duration of fever thirty- 
six to forty-eight hours, slow convalescence ; or, haemorrhage with black 
vomit would succeed, with extreme yellowness of skin and death. Black 
vomit occurred in nearly all the cases that died. I had seven cases of 
true black vomit that recovered, during the month of September. I have 
seen this disease during every epidemic that prevailed at Natchez since 
1825, and one or two epidemics in New Orleans; and must say that the 
disease of this year, as I saw it in New Orleans and in this place, being 
of the same type, is in my opinion different in some of its peculiarities 
from any epidemic yellow fever. I have never seen the nervous symp- 
toms run higher; and the fever has, in many cases, assumed more of a 

68 Testimony of Mr. John H. Crump and Mr. J. H. Moore. 

typhoid character; still, I deem it the true yellow fever, of a most ma- 
lignant type. I have seen no case this year of alledged second attack. 

From the lights before me, I am still of the opinion I have ever en- 
tertained, that yellow fever is not contagious ; and have had no reason to 
change that opinion. Yellow fever occurred in several places in this 
vicinity, where no communication was held with an infected district. At 
Woodlawn, six miles Northwest of this place, there were, among the 
blacks, sixty-six cases of yellow-fever, three cases of black vomit, four of 
passive haemmorrhage, and two deaths ; eight cases occurred after frosts 
of severity sufficient to kill all vegetation. I know of but three or four 
persons who were employed, either as physicians or nurses, who have 
escaped the disease. 

Contractor R. R., on board the steamboat " Southern Belle," December 28th. 

The first case of yellow fever at Port Gibson, was that of a German 
shoemaker, about the 6th of September, who had brought up a stock of 
leather, shoes, &c. from New Orleans. He landed at Grand Gulf, from 
the river. The fever did not occur at Grand Gulf until after it had broken 
out in Port Gibson/ The wife of the shoemaker was the next case at 
Port Gibson; and, some four or five cases occurred in the same house 
before the fever broke out in other parts of Port Gibson. The shoemaker 
was sick four days, and died. His wife had it two days after he died. 
There were several cases fatal. In the course of three weeks from the 
first case it began to spread through the place, and seemed to radiate 
from the shoemaker's house, as a centre. This house is situated in a 
filthy portion of the town, low and wet. Population about 1000. During 
the epidemic, there were left in the town about 200 whites and 300 
blacks. There were sixty-four deaths. The fever, as epidemic, ceased 
the 28th October, though some cases occurred thereafter. The fever 
spread into the country for some fifteen miles, and cases when carried 
from town produced many new ones. Very few cases were carried out 
which did not spread. I have never had the fever. I regard it decidedly 
infectious. Before this season I have not regarded yellow fever infectious. 
I think the infection can be carried by persons. Whether by o^ood and 
bales, I cannot say. I have kept no memoranda in regard to the fever; 
what I mention are general conclusions from what I have heard and 
seen. Attest: W. P. R. 


Port Gibson. — Lives in New Orleans ; arrived in Port Gibson on the 
8th of September ; knows nothing of the first cases there, except from 

There are three elevations upon which the town of Port Gibson is sit- 
uated, each higher as you go up from the river. The first case took place 
on the lower level ; the next was a negro woman, who was brought from 

Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. G9 

New Orleans by Mr. Green ; she took sick on board of tbe steamboat ; 
she was carried to the highest elevation. He understood that the fever 
spread from these two cases ; the town was healthy until the occurrence 
of these cases. These facts were communicated to him. 

There had been no cases in the vicinity of Port Gibson up to the time 
of his arrival there. 

The only case which came under his personal observation, was Mrs. 
Moore, who went to see Mr. Kelly, a decided case, but doubtful in its first 
stages. On the second night before his sickness he slept at Mrs. Moore's ; 
was removed to his residence in Grand Gulf. 

Mrs. Moore was taken fifteen days after ; she had no communication 
with any infected place ; the distance between Port Gibson and Grand 
Gulf is eight miles. Mr. Kelly was perfectly well when he arrived at 
Mrs. Moore's. Kelly recovered ; Mrs. Moore died with black vomit ; no 
other source of communication could have existed with Mrs. M., with the 
exception of Kelly and myself. 

After an interval of six or eight days, others who had attended upon 
Mrs. Moore, were taken with the disease; his impression is that all the 
women who were in the house, were attacked, but some were not attacked 
until the disease reached the negro quarters. 

Twenty-five or thirty cases occurred there, although intermittent fevers 
occurred at the same time and locality ; other places, not distant, were 
exempt from fever at this time. No mould was observed, and no new 
upturning of the soil had been made. 

The distance between Woodlawn and Claiborne is one-half mile. The 
only case at Claiborne was a little girl, who had communication with 
Woodlawn ; she was taken at Claiborne on the *7th October ; the physician 
attending, had the fever. The overseer and his child, at Woodlawn, had 
the disease ; the first died, and the child recovered. The overseer nursed 
the sick assiduously; the family occupying the same house in which 
Mrs. Moore was taken sick ; did not contract the disease ; they were un- 
acclimated. Mrs. Moore had the fever in New Orleans, in 1841. 

TESTIMONY OF REV. C. K. MARSHALL, Vicksbnrg. March 18th, 1854. 
Dk. J. L. Riddell, M. D. : 

Dear Sir : — Owing to the confusion of the two letters I sent you on 
the subject of the epidemic of 1853, as they were printed by the legis- 
lative committee of your State, I have felt compelled to correct them, 
and in doing so, have added some further particulars which I have re- 
cently learned. I have confined myself exclusively to the origin and 
progress of the disease. 

I have lived in Vicksburg about twenty-one years. Was in the city 
during the summer from the middle of July till the epidemic ceased. 
From all I can learn, I am of opinion that the late fever which ravaged 
this city was brought to the place by persons and goods directly from 
New Orleans. 

70 Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. 

The usual population of Vicksburg is a little more than 5,000. It 
was reduced during the epidemic to about 2,000 whites and 1,000 
blacks. About 350 or 400 blacks were taken away during the epi- 
demic. The suburbs embrace about 2,000 persons— not more than 
300 or 400, if so many, could have been removed. 

There were about 2,100 cases of fever, as near as I can form an 
estimate from the best sources of information. We lost about 500. 
Some died whose names are not in the reported lists. 

I believe the first cases of yellow fever in the city, in private practice, 

were attended by a Dr. F , a most infamous quack, who had recently 

imposed himself upon a part of the community, who scorned the frank 
and fearless warnings of their old and tried friends, and took up with 
what proved the most brazen ignorance and miserable cheat that was 
ever allowed to test the gullibility of poor sick humanity. Fortunately, 
perhaps, for suffering humanity, and the cause of science, he died of 
the fever. But we have lost the observations of a scientific physician, 
who, had he seen these cases, might have thrown some light on the 
great questions now before the medical public. 

The facts I learn, after much effort and numerous corrections, are 
as follows : Six pedlers came from New Orleans, in June, and took 
boarding at Mr. Fugates, on Grove street, near the corner of Monroe. 
His wife was a Mrs. Clarke, and I called her by that name in my first 
note. On the 12th of July, Mr. Scannell, the proprietor of the ped- 
ling caravan, went to New Orleans with one of his assistants, by the 
name of Clifford, and brought up a large supply of silks and satins. 
They returned on the 18th, and came on the Natchez, being the same 
boat on which they went down. The day after Scannell returned, he 
had a chill, followed by pains in the head, back, loins and joints, and 
suffered from great thirst and restlessness. Dr. F. attended him; he 
was salivated ; was sick two weeks, and recovered. His wife was 
also attacked while he was sick, but recovered. Five members of Mr. 
Fugates family had the fever, and though often with other cases, after 
their recovery, till the epidemic ceased, not one of them was attacked 
again. The pedlers left, August 7th, as soon as Mr. Scannell could 
travel, and they went, as Mr. Stewart informed me, to Yazoo City, 
Millikin's Bend, and Memphis. 

Mr. Clifford left Vicksburg on the 19th, the day after returning from 
New Orleans, and was sick at or near Warrenton, and was taken that 

The next cases were at the Hospital. The following is a transcript 
from the register of that Institution : 

" Thomas Jackson, born in Hinds county, Miss., aged 24 years ; 
admitted July 23d — died on the 28th, of typhus icterodes, from steamer 
Empire State. 

Win, Quimby, born in Massachusetts; aged 22 years; admitted 
July 30th, died August 4th, of typhus icterodes, from steamer Frank 

Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. 71 

At this period, the health of the city was very good — but much 
alarm felt from private communications and rumors from New Orleans. 

Gilbert Coats, died August 1st, at the Washington Hotel. He had 
returned from the Yazoo Swamps about two weeks before his death ; 
and those swamps produce a fever so fatal and peculiar as to be classed 
as "swamp fever." 

I learned from Dr. Burchett that he had black vomit, and was es- 
teemed a clear case of yellow fever. 

Mr. C. was in town a week before he fell sick, and spent the time 
chiefly on the wharf-boat. He was in the constant habit of visiting 
steamers landing at this port. The wharf-boat moved down to the 
quarantine grounds on the 25th of July, and Coats went to the Wash- 
ington Hotel, and was at once taken sick. This was the first case of 
death of yellow fever in private practice. 

The next case pronounced yellow fever, by reputable physicians, 
was that of Mrs. Lanier, a lady living in comfortable circumstances, 
and in a very healthy portion of the city. She died on the 11th of 
August. As far as I can ascertain the history of the case, the follow- 
ing are the facts, obtained from the families and persons concerned 
more or less : 

Mr. Lanier's house was near the residence of Mr. Fugates, where 
Mr. Scannell was sick, and his room but a little distance from Mr. 
Lanier's House. 

One or two days before Mrs. Lanier was taken sick, one of the 
pedlers had taken their goods from Fugates to her house, and 
she examined them carefully. This was on Friday or Saturday, 
August 5th or 6th, and on Sunday, the 7th, she was taken violently, 
and died on the following Thursday; had black vomit. 

Drs. Crump and Harper attended her, and never doubted the char- 
acter of her disease. 

The next cases in the order of occurrence took place on the 8th of 
August. R. D. Howe, merchant, was one of these cases. Dr. Ma- 
gruder, pronounced it yellow fever. Mr. Howe, thinks that goods 
brought from New Orleans by his next door neighbors, which were 
quite offensive, together with his passing Mr. Fugates' many times a 
day, when the fever existed there, the cause of his sickness. He re- 

On the same day, Miss F. Worthen was taken sick. Resided in the 
Little Verandah. Had been present at the opening of a lot of dry 
goods from New Orleans, at Mrs. Edwards' — then sat up two nights 
wilh a child, whose mother had been traveling with it on the boats but 
recently. The day the child died, Miss Worthen was attacked, and 
was taken ill with the child's corpse in the carriage ; and though the 
fever was afterwards in her family, and she lost her father, mother and 
brother by it, she was not sick again. 

The next cases were taken on the 9th and 10th of August. The 
first was Mrs. Shultz, whose husband is a merchant tailor; keeps 

72 Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. 

three doors from Woodman's drug store. I learned that this lady 
occasionally visited the family of Mr. Lachs, residing in the house 
nearly adjoining Mrs. Lanier's, and she had been there during her 
sickness. She was taken on the 9th of August, and recovered. Drs. 
Crump and Harper attended the case, and never doubted the character 
of the disease. 

The other case, occurring on the 10th, was that of Ed. D. Bailey, a 
clerk in McCutchen's store. He died on the 18th. He had been 
much exposed to the sun in going to and returning from the quarantine 
ground, and in receiving goods there. 1 think it more than probable 
he caught the disease by visiting the steamboats, or from New Orleans 

The next case in order was Mr. Simon Lachs, who lived next door 
neighbor to Mr. Lanier, and spent a part of two nights at his house 
while his wife was sick. He was attacked the 14th ; and, soon after, 
his wife, and then his brother. While Mrs. L. was sick, her sister, 
Mrs. Myers, from Jackson Road, came to nurse her, but on the second 
day fell sick, and returning home, the disease soon spread into every 
contiguous house. 

The next case was a negress of Colonel Moore's ; aged 17; Lived 
with a colored woman who took in washing, and washed for the Wash- 
ington Hotel ; the fever had been in the Hotel before this period. 
Took washing from all directions. Jane was at work for her, and was 
taken violently sick on the 15th of August. Dr. Balfour was called 
in on the 17th ; she died with black vomit on the 20th. I know a case 
of a colored woman who washed, for a sick man who died with the 
yellow fever, and she took it, though she never left her own lot as far 
as I can learn. 

On the 16th of August, Miss Z. Potts, residing in the family of D. 
Walker, Esq., complained of illness, and on the 17th, Dr. G. P. Crump 
was called in; he pronounced it yellow fever. Mr. Walker lived in 
the Northeastern part of the city, on Farmer street. As the young 
lady had been to no place where any one was sick, it was a matter of 
surprise how she could have taken the fever at that place ; and her 
brother, a young man of 15 years, observed that " she must have caught 
it when they passed the residence of Mr. Lanier." It seems that the 
brother and sister had crossed the city together, and his observation 
leads to the conclusion that they passed the infected district. They 
passed there two days before she complained. They are now both 

The next case was Ed. Scarbrough ; he was taken on the 17th of 
August, and died on the 24th. He had been with Mr. Lachs while 
sick, and two days after was himself taken down, and nearly every 
man who nursed him took the fever. 

John Rigly, Esq., went and nursed Mr. Scarbrough, and was in a 
few days taken sick, and with great difficulty escaped alive. 

The next case occurred in the families of Messrs. Rapp. John R. 

Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. 73 

Rapp spent two nights with Ed. Scarbrough, and, two days after- 
wards, on the 20th, he was taken sick. His sister Margaret, who had 
visited Miss Worthen when sick with the fever, was taken down the 
day before — on the 19th; all the family had it. 

About this date, James W. Bell fell sick at the Washington Hotel, 
and others soon after in the same house. 

On the 23d, Mr. Reel was taken ; he lived in a house iu the rear 
of Finnie's carriage and repairing shop. Was the first case there. 
Six persons had the fever there, and three died. How or where 
Reel got it cannot be ascertained. It had been in his vicinity for 
nearly a month. 

Meantime, the fever had worked its way through Mr. Fugates' 
family, where it commenced, and entered the family of Mr. Stewart, 
in the next house. It broke out among Mr. Bender's negroes, in the 
stable near Mr. Fugates, August 22d. 

By this time it was admitted to be yellow fever by all the Medical 
Faculty, aud cases were appearing in every direction throughout the 

The fever was pronounced epidemic on the 7th and 8th of September, 
by all the physicians, as far as I could learn, and it ceased as an epidemic 
about the 20th of October ; but cases were developed as late as the 21st 
of November. It prevailed nearly three months so as to suspend nearly 
all business. 

I believe the first case of yellow fever in this city occurred July 
19th, at Mr. Fugates, in the person of John Scannell. The last 
case was Col Levi Mitchel, on the 21st of November. 

Cistern water is mostly used in town ; a good deal of river water 
is used. Most all the cisterns are subterranean ; there are none 
above ground in the city, 

I have supposed that exposure to bad air, polluted dry goods, and 
to the infection of persons who had the disease, were the chief cause 
of the epidemic here. I have heard of several persons who said 
they had distinctly perceived the approach of the epidemic ; in other 
words, they had experienced a sudden sensation previous to actual 
sickness, which they were sure was the first of the disease. 

There is not the slightest local cause why this city should have 
been subject to the epidemic ; no stagnant waters worth naming 
about; no fresh excavation of earth, near the time of the appearance 
of fever, except what I myself made around my residence, to the 
amount of two or three thousand cubic yards, perhaps one or two 
others had a little done. 

My family have been exempt from the epidemic, except a slight 
fever by a servant ; part of my family was absent. I have never 
had the fever myself. The city in the beginning of the epidemic 
was decidedly cleanly. A small pond near my residence has not 
been deemed injurious to health, and the fever was late in appearing 
near it. I know of very few who were subject to the disease and 

V4 Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. 

were exposed here but took the fever, unless they had previously 
had it. 

Children have been subject to the fever. During the epidemic 
there have been thirty-nine deaths among the negroes; thirty of 
them were from yellow fever. A majority of them, I believe, mulat- 
toes. We had a quarantine which did not go into operation until 
after the first cases referred to had occurred in the Hospital, and 
some in private practice. 

We moved the wharf-boat one mile below the city, and placed 
officers aboard to guard the city from promiscuous visitors from the 
South ; but we could not see that it did any good ; and was in some 
instances evaded. People could land at the quarantine, and coming 
round through the woods, to the East, enter the town ; and as boats 
descending the river were not subjected to quarantine, any one 
coming from New Orleans could pass up, and exchange boats and 
land in the city coming down, without delay. I am satisfied that 
the only way in which we could manage a quarantine here, so as to 
render it in any way efficient, would be to establish it on the opposite 
side of the river, and doubtless the Legislature of Louisiana would 
give our city the right to establish one there, if no private right were 
injured by it. 

The fever did not spread to neighboring plantations, except in 
three or four cases, and generally non-intercourse soon put an end 
to its progress. There was one quite remarkabie instance of spread- 
ing the disease, which occurred directly North of the city, at a 
distance of two miles, in which direction the fever spread about 
four miles. A gentleman went from town, and was sick about one 
week ; recovering, went to the interior ; perhaps one of the water- 
ing places. About two weeks afterwards, the lady, Mrs. Sisson, at 
whose house he had been sick, was attacked with the fever and died ; 
while she was sick, her neighbors came and nursed her, and soon 
after they were taken with the fever. The husband of the lady, Mr. 
Sisson, next took the fever and died ; he had no black vomit. Several 
of his negroes also had the fever at the time. This was the only 
direction from Vicksburg in which the fever spread as an epidemic, 
any distance, In this case, as in others of which I have been 
informed, the origin of the fever could readily be traced to persons 
and goods coming from the town. 

The fever also appeared in the family of Mr. George Selser, 
about seven miles from Vicksburg, and the same distance from 
Warrenton ; supposed to be carried there by a visitor at first, then 
probably aggravated by a visit of one of his sons to Warrenton to 
see a sick friend. The eldest son soon died; then the mother ; then 
several servants had it, but all recovered ; then other members of the 
family, among them the father, Mr. Selser, who recovered ; but a 
noble son, after three months sickness, died ; who was taken about 
the time the mother died; all died in the same house, and no inter- 

Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. 75 

course was kept up with more than two families — those of Mr. S's 
daughters' — and the fever was carried to them, or taken by them 
while nursing, 

Another instance occurred about four miles Southeast of the city. 
The lady, Mrs. Hildebrand, and her daughter, visited some relatives 
near Warrenton. Report says, a man from Warrenton. where the 
disease was then raging, passed the previous night at that house. 
The mother and daughter (a married lady,) returned home ; both 
sickened, and both died of black vomit. Before they were taken 
sick, and perhaps in their absence, a son of the lady, (Mrs. Hilde- 
brand,) determined on marrying ; went to Vicksburg and obtained 
the things necessary to the consummation of that purpose ; was 
married at Warrenton on the 14th of September, by J. Crawford, 
Esq., (whose wife died of yellow fever in the house where the cere- 
mony took place, the same day.) Mr. Hildebrand and his wife 
returned immediately to the country — soon sickened, and in ten 
days from his marriage, died with black vomit. These facts I 
obtained from physicians and several members of the family. Dr. 
Thomas J. Harpei - , says that the crop at Mr. Hildebrand's being 
delayed in gathering, when the excitement had a little subsided, 
their neighbors turned out to assist in gathering it, and adds, 
" among others, Mr. Ferguson, worked for him about three days, 
and took his meals with Hildebrand's manager — at the time there 
was no fever on the place. In a short time, one of Mr, Ferguson's 
negroes was taken sick ; then Ferguson himself. I saw him, and 
pronounced his a case of yellow fever. Previous to this time, none 
of his hands had been exposed, nor had he. These cases occurred 
in November." 

The disease was developed in a few cases at the Bovina Settlement, 
about ten miles from this place, on the Railroad, and all the cases 
are easily traced to connections with Vicksburg. 

I know of no person whose information and judgment would be 
relied on, who doubts the fact that the disease was carried from 
house to house by goods or persons, until the whole atmosphere 
became charged with the poison ; when cases arose from the common 
pollution of the air, as a matter of course. 

I visited Warrenton, and found that a pedler had come there from 
a point somewhere below by steamboat — fell sick — died. Some 
days after, another man slept in the bed where the man died — soon 
sickened — and the poison spread in every direction. No place in 
the South suffered more than that town. 

I had no idea of the time and labor it demanded to obtain and 
arrange the matter of this letter. It may contain errors, and doubt- 
less does — but I have spared no time, labor or cost to obtain the 
facts, and have them correct. I have endeavored to furnish the 
facts as they existed, and I can come to no other conclusion than 
that the late epidemic was imported. I have kept my notices 

16 Testimony of Bev< C. K. Marshall. 

strictly confined to the origin and spread of the disease, and though 
I belong not to the Medical Faculty, I hope you will excuse me it I 
submit to you the conclusions to which I have come, after examining 
this subject personally, in this city, at Jackson, Brandon and War- 
renton — 

1. That it was an easily communicable disease, and has never 
spread in this region without the assistance of some agency of 

2. That clothing, goods, and persons, are all good agents for its 
transmission ; and it has often been carried by persons, physicians 
and others, visiting the sick, or infected districts, or boats, to persons 
and families, while the person constituting such link of communication 
has wholly escaped. 

3. That timid, nervous, and feeble persons, and those predisposed 
to any disease, are very liable to take the fever, and may do so from 
merely passing a house, boat, or ship, where it exists, or has recently 
been. Witness the cases reported in the Medical and Surgical 
Journal, of New Orleans, January, 1854 ; the case of the ship 
Mandarin, at Philadelphia. I think the Augusta and Camboden 
Castle at New Orleans, and the other ships mentioned by Dr. Fenner 
in his report ; precisely similar cases. 

4. That it requires the human system to be in a state or condition 
favorable to the disease to take it. This is the only reason why 
thousands did not die instead of hundreds ; and hundreds instead of 
tens. It is a wonderful provision of Providence that all persons 
shall not, according to the laws of nature, be at all times in equal 
peril. The world had been a desert ages since, but for this arrange- 

5. That it is a rare occurrence for persons to have the yellow 
fever twice. With perhaps one or two exceptions, none of those 
who had the yellow fever in this city, in 1841, 1847, or 1849, had it 
in 1853; although constantly exposed. But I know several who 
never saw a case before — persons from the North and West — who 
were constantly with it, and never were sick an hour from the 

6. That the yellow fever was imported into this city, and all 
other places on the river, directly or indirectly, from the city of New 
Orleans, by persons or goods. C. K. M. 

De. J. L. RiDdell, m. d. : 

Dear Sir .-— I have just returned from Brandon ; and as the 
yellow fever reached that place, and you expressed some anxiety to 
learn its origin and progress there, I obtained all the information I 
could, and herewith transmit it to you. 

On the 23d of September, Robert Langford died. Had black 
vomit. This was the first case in Brandon. He was sick five days. 
Mr. L. was the conductor of the rail-cars between Jackson and Bran- 
don, a di&tance of about fourteen miles. He was daily in Jackson 

Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. 77 

during the epidemic until taken sick. Drs. Posey and Belt attended 
him. Dr. P. says it was a violent case of yellow fever ; if it was 
yellow fever that prevailed at Vicksburg and Jackson. 

The second case was a colored man, Green, a barber. He had 
been in Jackson. While there he visited the barber Alfred, of whose 
death by yellow fever I informed you in my letter respecting the 
disease at Jackson. He helped lift Alfred, and was with him some 
hours. Some few days after his return to Brandon, Robert Lang- 
ford (the first person who had the fever there) came to his shop and 
told him he was suffering from pain in the head, and had his head 
dressed ; left the shop ; went home, and in a few hours was reported 
through town as having yellow fever. Green was attended by Dr. 
J. J. Thornton, who informed me that his was a marked case ; though 
not violent. After Green recovered, he shaved several sick and 
several dead persons, and was not sick again. 

The third case was that of John Smith, a young man, a stage 
driver. He had been at Yazoo City, and more recently at Jackson, 
from which place he fled to Brandon. He died October 8th. Dr. J. 
J. Thornton attended him, and informed me that S. had black vomit, 
and throughout his sickness showed the clearest evidences of having 
the yellow fever. 

The fourth case was Dr. James H. Belt, who had attended Robert 
Langford, and consulted with Dr. Thornton in the case of Smith ; 
the third case. After about five days sickness he died, October 
24th. He was an able physician, and universally esteemed. During 
his sickness he was attended and nursed by several excellent young 
gentlemen, nearly all of whom took the fever soon after. 

The fifth case was Elisha Maxey, who died on the 30th of 
October. I inquired if he had visited where the fever existed, and 
learned from Mr. A. E. Martin that, he had been with and assisted in 
nursing several cases. 

Case 6. — Charles H. Edwards was the next case that terminated 
fatally. He died on the 4th of November. This estimable young 
man was one of five who had nursed Dr. Belt. The other four 

Case 7. — This was the case of Edmund Smith. He died on the 
8th of November. I can trace no connection in his case with any 

Case 8. — The next death was that of H. E. Grimes. He died 
November 11th. He had been with and nursed Edmund Smith. 

Case 9. — This was the case of William H. Shelton. He had 
nursed a cousin, H. F. Shelton, who took sick after attending Dr. 
Belt. He also nursed Mr. Maxey, who died, and finally he went and 
took Maxey's place, and slept in the room where he died. Mr. Shel- 
ton died on the 23d of November, and was one of the most violent 
cases that occurred in Brandon. 

18 Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. 

Case 10.— Mr. W. H. Kirkland, who nursed Mr. Wm. H. Shelton, 
soon fell sick of the same fever. He recovered. 

The eleventh case was that of Mrs. Eleanor Gardiner, a very aged 
woman, who died December 3d, after a sickness of only six hours. 
I could not learn of any connection with any infected place, or visit 
to any one sick of fever. The gentlemen of the family had probably 
been with cases of sickness. Dr. Posey thinks it was the epidemic 
fever. This was the last case in the town. 

I heard of two other ladies who were attacked with the fever and 
recovered, but nothing of how or by what means they took it. 

S. A. Adams died on the 25th of September, and at first it was 
reported a case of yellow fever ; but I learned it was the medical 
opinion that it was not yellow fever ; but congestion of the brain, 
without yellow fever symptoms. There were some doubts expressed, 
however, and nothing certain could be learned. 

There were reports that Mr. Easterling, and Mrs. Standard, and 
one of her colored women, had also been attacked with yellow fever ; 
but Dr. Posey informed me that they did not have the yellow fever. 

I have obtained the above facts from Drs. H. J. Posey and J. J. 
Thornton, A. Harper, Esq., D. Fitzhugh, Esq., A. E. Martin, Esq., 
and several other citizens. 

Brandon has a population of near twelve hundred, and was not 
diminished much by the epidemic. It is one of the healthiest places 
I have known in the State for many years, and will become a retreat 
from cities and river homes in future. C. K. M. 

Vicksburg, February 6th, 1854. 
Dr. J. L. Riddell, M. D. : 

Dear Sir : — According to my promise, I have been to Jackson, 
were I spent nearly a week in diligent and careful inquiries on the 
subject of the introduction and spread of yellow fever during the 
last summer. As you will obtain from distinguished medical gentle- 
men the information you may wish, strictly relating to their profession, 
I shall only attempt to furnish a few facts, illustrative of the origin 
and progress of that terrible scourge. These facts I have obtained 
from reliable sources, and they are as correct as I could make them, 
after numerous efforts, sometimes spending a whole day, and calling 
on a multitude of persons scattered over the whole infected districts, 
to obtain a few dates, or correct one. 

The first cases of yellow fever that occurred in Jackson, were 
carried there from Vicksburg. They were the servants of Col. L. C. 
Moore. One of them, a colored man, was unwell when he left 
Vicksburg — had just buried a fellow-servant who had died of yellow 
fever. Soon after his arrival in Jackson, his wife was taken sick; 
then a girl, perhaps 10 years old. These servants went to Jackson 
on the 21st of August; were nursed by a negro who once had the 
yellow fever in New Orleans. He did not take it. They were 
attended to by Dr. Langley, and the disease did not spread from 

Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. 79 

that family, though L. thinks two or three of the white family had it 
soon after. The place where this sickness occurred was well out of the 
city, in an open, salubrious portion of the suburbs. No person out 
of the immediate circle of Col. M.'s family had any fever, that can 
be traced, which might be supposed to have resulted from their 

The next case was that of a German, by the name of H. T. Mosher. 
This man left Jackson on 2Lst August, and came to Vicksburg, 
where he remained until the 24th. While here he spent part of his 
time at the Verandah, by which name a group of old decayed wooden 
houses are known, and where the fever existed. On the day after 
his return to Jackson 1 , he seemed unwell, and on Wednesday, August 
31st, took his bed, complaining of pain in the head and back, and 
of great prostration. He was a carpenter, and worked for Allen 
Patrick, Esq. He died with black vomit on the 5th of September, 
at an ale, beer, and boarding house, near the railroad depot, kept by 
Mr. Iehler. All the physicians, I believe, deem this the first case 
of yellow fever ; after the cases of Col. Moore's, at Dr. Langley's, 
above mentioned. 

Three days after Mosher was taken sick, a woman by the name of 
Mrs. Cothrine, who lived in the next house — a few feet apart 
only — fell sick, and Dr. Farrar informs me she died of yellow fever 
on the 1st of September. She boarded at Mr. Webber's, whose wife 
took sick on the day of Mrs. C.'s death, and the fever spread through- 
out the family. 

The next case was a Mr. Muller, who lived at the other end of the 
town, a little North of Spengler's saloon. He died on the 7th of 
September, and Drs. Langley, Cabanis, and Boyd, agree that it was 
a case of yellow fever. Finding the brothers of this man, I learned 
from them that the deceased had been with Mr. Mosher during his 

On the 12th, Alfred, a colored barber, died ; and no doubt was 
entertained of its being of yellow fever. So his physicians think. 
Indeed, his nurse informed me that he had black vomit in a moderate 
degree. The case was believed to have been produced by the con- 
dition of the atmosphere, as nothing like a cause otherwise seemed 
to exist. After making numerous inquiries concerning this case, I 
learned the following facts : When Alfred was sick, he supposed he 
had the yellow fever, and told his partner in business that if he had 
it, he " took it from the man he shaved." But either the man he 
shaved was unknown to his partner, or he was unwilling to say Alfred 
had shaved a case. I then called on Mr. Iehler, at whose house 
Mosher died, and learned from him that Alfred was sent for and came 
and shaved Mosher. 

Mr. Patrick doubts not that, upon futher inquiry it seems clear, 
that he shaved Mosher about the time he was taken sick — or while 

80 Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. 

On the same day that Alfred died, a German died at Spengler's Mill ; 
name unknown. This man had boarded at Iehler's, and left under 
the apprehension that Mosher had the plague. Their rooms were 
opposite each other. On the 14th, Peter Gallaher died of the same 
fever, on Greasy -row, at Mrs. O'Connor's; he had escaped from 
Vicksburg a week previous to his death, to save his life. The in- 
mates of the house fled, and the disease spread no further from 
that point. 

The next case was that of Mr. Olancey, a saddle and harness 
maker; he died on the 16th, of black vomit. A panic began to de- 
velope on this announcement. It has generally been supposed that 
Clancey's case originated from atmospheric causes alone; for a while 
it was rumored and believed that he had taken the disease from a 
lot of leather, lately received from New Orleans ; but Mr. Sizer, his 
employer ; informed me that the leather came two days after he was 
taken sick. On the day C. was taken sick, viz : the 12th, he said to 
Mr. Sizer, " I am sick, and if Alfred Englehard died of yellow fe- 
ver, I have got it." A little startled at the announcement, Mr. S. 
omitted to ask him if he had been with Alfred ; the barber above 
named ; nor did any one hear Clancey say any thing about it while 
sick; but the natural inference from the observation is, that he had 
been to see Alfred, whose shop was nearly opposite to C.'s lodging 

Mentioning the circumstance to Dr. Boyd, he at once informed me 
that he called one evening to see Alfred, and found Clancey there. 
Alfred's sister and partner both informed me that several white men 
came to see him while sick, some of whom they did not know. 

Both of the men who nursed Clancey took the fever, and one of 
them, Mr. Brush, died of it. 

On the 13th, Mrs. Cashman, and her daughter, 8 years of age, 
were both taken sick, and on the 16th Dr. Boyd was called in ; the 
mother recovered, but the child died of black vomit on the 18th. Mr. 
Cashman informed me that he had been to Vicksburg to purchase 
leather, and some other small articles ; as near as he could recollect 
the date of the trip, it was between the 3d and 8th of September ; 
he had also been at Alfred's when he was sick, but refused to go into 
the room, — sat in the next room. He lives at the northern extrem- 
ity of the town from the depot ; and how the disease could get there 
has been a matter of surprise. 

On the 14th, Mr. Foster died at Mrs. McCarty's, next door to 
Iehler's, where Mosher died; Dr. Bailey attended him — says it was 
a marked case. On the 16th, Mrs. McCarty's son, aged 10 years, 
died ; had black vomit- 
On the morning of the 16th, the day of Mr. Clancey's death, Miss 
Amanda Lee was seized with fever, and at 12 o'clock the next Sun- 
day, Mrs. Newton was taken down ; they both lived at Mrs. Virden's 
millinery store. The young lady was making a shroud when taken ; 

Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. 81 

she left it unfinished ; and Miss. N. went to work on it and was also 
taken while at work. I inquired if they had seen any sick person, 
or been where the disease existed; Mrs. N. informed me that Miss 
Lee had passed the house where a man was said to have died the 
night previous of yellow fever ; this was on the 15th, in the morning. 
At noon the same day, Mrs. Newton passed the same place, and both, 
I learn, were much alarmed; on the day following, they were both 
taken sick, and Miss. Lee died on the 21st September ; had black 
vomit. Dr. Farrar attended. The house they passed was where 
Peter Gallaher had just died of yellow fever. 

On the 21st, two men by the name of Stowe, who had boarded at 
Iehler's up to the death of Mosher, died of the fever; their physicians 
informed the citizens of yellow fever; they died at Spengler's Mill. 

On the 23d, Mrs. Donnell died of fever, she had assisted in shroud- 
ing Mrs. Cothrine, the first lady that died. 

On the 23d, Mr. Fox died at Mrs. McCarty's; a violent case. This 
is the vicinity of its origin. Dr. Baley attended. On the 24th Miss 
Henckle died, and soon after, her mother — then her father; related to 
Spengler's family, and with them while complaining and sick. 

Mr. T. Horrabin died on the 25th; he was useful, — everywhere 
among the sick. 

Mrs. McCarty lost another child on the 26th ; had black vomit. 

On the 29th, Mrs. Hull died at the depot residence; was the wife 
of the clerk. 

Thus I have traced the origin and progress of this fearful pesti- 
lence for onB month. Some cases of disease occurred which recovered, 
and I have not specially noticed them. But in every instance I believe 
the disease may be traced until the atmosphere becomes charged with the 
pestilential agent, when, like a conflagration, it breaks out in all directions. 
1 have followed up towards the latter part of September, only the fatal 
cases ; for before the 21st of September, a large number had been sud- 
denly taken down. But the cases which took place early where distributed 
in every direction over the town ; but the greatest number were confined 
to the region of the railroad depot, and south of it, where the disease 
commenced its ravages. 

It did not reach the point of its greatest ravages until the 7th of Octo- 
ber. On the 13th, I visited the place, and passed two weeks assisting and 
nursing the sick, and burying the dead. 

The Lunatic Asylum is a distance out of the city of a mile and more 
perhaps, and during the epidemic was made a place of refuge for a great 
many who fled thither, in number about two hundred; and what is some- 
what singular and remarkable, not a solitary case of yellow fever occurred 
aiming them. 

The ordinary population of Jackson is about three thousand; during 
the epidemic it was reduced to six hundred and ninety. It is believed 
there were three hundred and fifty cases of sickness, of which one hun- 
dred and twelve proved fatal. Mr. A. Patrick and Mr. Dudley, under- 
1 1 

82 Testimony of Dr. T. B. Benedict and Mr. Wm. Rogan. 

takers, informed me that the list of deaths published was very imperfect, 
both in dates and names ; consequently some of my dates differ from 
those published in the journals of Jackson. C. K. M. 


Fort Adams. — Dr. Benedict resides near Fort Adams. The first 
persons taken sick were in the Presler family, living one-fourth 
of a mile from the river, and about two miles from Fort Adams, on 
a high hill. This occurred about the last of October. The disease 
must have originated spontaneously : there is no other way of 
accounting for it. 

Mrs. Presler was an elderly lady, of about 65 years of age ; she 
seldom left her domicil ; there was no possibility of her having 
contracted the disease from abroad ; the whole family lived a secluded 
life ; Mrs. Presler and son died, and also Dr. Taylor who attended 

The wife of the overseer at " Monterico," a plantation three miles 
distant from Presler's, was taken sick after its appearance at the 
latter place. About eighty a cases occurred at Monterico ; most of 
them negroes. 

Dr. Davis resided fourteen miles from Presler's, passed a night 
there ; was taken sick a few days afterwards, and died with fever. 

Dr. Benedict thinks the disease different this year, from that which 
he has previonsly seen. 

Dr. Baldwin, who resides six miles from Dr. Davis, visited him 
during his illness ; took the disease and died. From neither of these 
cases did the disease spread. 

The brother-in-law of Presler, who lived on the opposite side of 
the river, died with fever, and was carried through Fort Adams to 
be buried. Many supposed that the fever was introduced into Fort 
Adams in that manner. 

Dr. Benedict noticed a peculiar smell in yellow fever patients, 
about the third day ; cannot say that the disease is contagious, except 
in an epidemic condition of the atmosphere. 

The season was warm; not much moisture; less mould than usual. 
It was very hot in the sun, but cool in the shade ; the nights were 
cool. Frost occurred much later than usual, and did not seem to 
check the disease. Many unacclimated persons in Fort Adams 
escaped the disease. Has seen the disease before in the Hospital. 
Noticed in the rear of Presler's, a large slide in the bank. The 
soil is alluvial. 

Vicksburg, December 27, 1853. 

William Rogan, (landlord,) Washington Hotel, Vicksburg Miss. 

I have lived in town nineteen years; the first case of yellow fever this 
year, was I think, Mr. Geo. Coates, who arrived here in July, I think 

Testimony of Rev. C. K. Masshall. 83 

the 20th. lie was taken sick about the 27th, and died early in 
August. He was a resident of this place, and had been out land 
surveying at the Artesian Wells, some seventy or eighty miles from 

Dr. Burchet attended him. He had black vomit. Yet I believe 
some said it was only sun fever that he had. Mrs. Lanier was the next 
case ; in regard to the circumstances, I am not fully informed. A Jew 
pedler, from New Orleans, lived close by her, and had lately brought a 
stock of goods from New Orleans. 

I would, however, refer to Dr. Burchet and Mr. Fuget, the deputy 
marshall. Attest: W. P. R. 

Rev. C. K. Marshall. — I have lived in Vicksburg about twenty 
years. According to the best of my knowledge and belief, the late 
epidemic was brought to this place by persons and goods from New 
Orleans. The first cases which occurred were in the hospital, but the 
disease did not spread from there. These cases were about the 1st of 
August. The first case in the city (pronounced as such by the 
physicians,) was Mrs. Lanier; she died about the 15th of August. I 
do not know whether Mr. Coates had the fever or not. Concerning 
the particulars of Mrs. Lanier's case, it was said that a Jewish pedler 
was at her house, and there opened and exhibited his goods, lately 
received from New Orleans. She was a woman in good circumstances, 
a very excellent lady, kept things in good order, and cleanly ; I think 
she did not have black vomit. During this time, boats from New 
Orleans were constantly landing here and people arriving. 

The fever became epidemic, according to physicians, near the *7th 
or 8th of September. The first case in Jackson, according to the 
marshal, (Col. Fielding Davis,) occurred at Spingler's saw-mill. The 
man who was taken had been absent from Jackson about a week, no 
one knew where or what he had been doing ; when he returned he 
was sick. It was thought that he could have been no where except to 
Vicksburg ; he had been out on a spree (bust.) The saw mill is one 
half mile to the North of Jackson ; the fever raged worse in the 
lower portion, the upper part was also affected. 

The second case was that of a man (Clancey,) connected with a car- 
riage establishment; whether he had been to Vicksburg, no one is 
able to say. During the time when these cases occurred, the physicians 
denied there being yellow fever, and were saying that it was a great 
shame to set on foot reports which were tended to create alarm and 
panic. I was at Jackson myself, and am well acquainted there ; the 
opinion there was that it might have been introduced by the railroad. 
I do not know how many cases there were, the number of deaths was 
about one hundred and ten. The number of inhabitants left, after the 
alarm had been taken and during the epidemic, was, according to a 
census taken at the time, not more than six hundred (600). The 
Lunatic Asylum which is a little distance out of the city, and during 
the epidemic it was made a place of refuge for a great many who fled 

84 Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. 

thither; in number about two hundred ; and what is somewhat singular 
and remarkable, not a solitary case of yellow fever occurred among 
them. The population of Jackson is usually about three thousand 
(3,000.) I am not informed concerning the particulars of yellow fever 
at Brandon ; the period of its occurrence there was however subsequent 
to its breaking out in Jackson. The fever did not occur in the interior 
towns. The usual population of Vicksburg, exclusive of the suburbs, 
is about six thousand (6,000) ; the population during the epidemic was 
reduced to twenty-three or twenty-four hundred ; including the suburbs, 
the population must have been, during the same time, about three 
thousand one hundred. We suppose there were about two thousand 
one hundred cases of yellow fever here, and nearly five hundred of these 
proved fatal. The portion of our population which suffered most, were 
foreigners. I think the proportion of fatal cases which terminated with 
black vomit, was one-half; at least I consider this a safe estimate. I 
know of one case of recovery at Jackson, subsequently to black vomit, 
it was the case of a boy about sixteen years old. 

The epidemic here ceased about the 20th of October; sporadic cases 
did however occur subsequently, even as late as the 20th of November. 
I think the fever was introduced here through the agency of persons 
and goods arrived from New Orleans. There was one case which 
occurred seemingly spontaneously, nineteen or twenty miles from this 
town, and eight miles distant from the railroad. The man's name was 
McGoomy; he recovered; the disease did not spread from him at all 
where he lived. 

[The foregoing testimony, of the Rev. C. K. Marshall, was taken 
doAvn in sh -rthand, by W. P. Riddell. The following was carefully 
prepared by himself, during subsequent leisure. The testimony is more 
full and explict. — J. L. Riddell.] 

Rev. C. K. Marshall. — I have lived in Vicksburg about twenty-one 
years. Was in the city during the summer, from the middle of July 
till the epidemic ceased. From all I can learn I am of the opinion that 
the late fever, which ravaged this city was brought to the place by 
persons and' goods directly from New Orleans. The first cases that 
appeared Avere two young men from New Orleans. One came on the 
steamer Empire, the other on the Frank Lyon. The first went to the 
hospital on arriving here, July 23d, and died on the 28th of black 
vomit. The second went to the hospital from the boat, July 30th, and 
died of black vomit on the 4th of August. 

At this period the health of the city was very good — but much 
alarm felt from private communications and rumors from New Orleans. 

Gilbert Coats died on the 1st of August, at the Washington Hotel. 
Don't think he had yellow fever, from all I can learn. He had just come 
out of the Yazoo swamps — and those swamps produce, at times, a fever 
so fatal as to have been classed " swamp fever." His physician reported 
his, a case of that fever. 

The first case pronounced yellow fever by reputable physicians was 

Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. 85 

that of Mrs. L , a lady living in comfortable circumstances, and in a 

very healthy portion of the city. She died on the 11th of August — 
had Mack vomit. Whilst she was sick, a lady on Washington street fell 
sick, and was pronounced yellow fever. About the same time a man 

died in the next house to the residence of Mrs. L , on the North. 

As far as I can ascertain the history of these cases, the following are the 
facts, obtained from the families and persons concerned more or "less. 

During the month of July, five or six pedlers — a class of persons 
who have done this State immense damage — came from New Orleans 
and took boarding at Mrs. Clark's, on Grove street, near the corner of 
Monroe street. They brought a large quantity of the best quality of 
silks and satins, as I am told, and visited many parts of the city and 
country to sell them. The chief of the gang, a man by the name of 

S , had left his wife in New Orleans, and on hearing the alarming 

reports of the spread of the epidemic in New Orleans, went down and 
brought her up. On arriving here she was taken sick ; had a slight 
attack of fever. Soon after her husband was taken sick; was badly 
salivated; got well. Others in the family were taken, and before it 
ceased, five in that house had it. 

I believe the first cases were attended by a Dr. F , a most infamous 

quack, who had recently imposed himself upon a part of the community, 
who scorned the frank and fearless warnings of their old and tried 
friends, and took up with what proved the most brazen ignorance and 
miserable cheat that ever was allowed to test the gullibility of poor sick 
humanity. Fortunately he died of the fever. But we have lost the 
observations of a scientific physician, who, had he seen these cases, 
might have thrown some light on the great question now before the 
medical public. 

The room in which this Mr. S , was sick, and where his goods 

in part were, was only a few feet from the residence of Mrs. L- , 

above referred to. One of the pedlers took some silks, brought from 

New Orleans by S , on his late return from the city, and carried 

round to show Mrs. L . She desired him to call the next day again 

with his goods ; having carefully examined them ; and on calling the 
day following he learned that she was sick. She died of black vomit. 
Had the best of medical attendance. The lady on Washington street, 
referred to, it seems, had constantly visited a family living in the house 

adjoining Mrs. Clark's and near Mrs. L , on the South. She was 

taken sick on the morning of the 10th of August. The work thus began 
to spread into every house contiguous, and the fever broke out in other 
places near this period; where I am credibly informed the pedlers 
had gone with their elegant, but poisoned goods. None of the persons 
who had recovered among these first cases took the fever at a later 

I was told by the mother of the lady with whom the pedlers boarded, 
that they went from this city to Yazoo city and Millikins Bend. 

The usual population of Vicksburg is a little more than five thousand. 

86 Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. 

It was reduced during the epidemic to about two thousand whites, and 
one thousand blacks. About three hundred and fifty or four hundred 
blacks were taken away during the epidemic. The suburbs embrace 
about two thousand persons ; not morethan three or four hundred, if so 
many, could have removed. 

There were about two thousand one hundred cases of fever, as near as 
I can form an estimate from the best sources of information. We lost 
about five hundred. Some died whose names are not in the reported 
lists. * 

I know of no person, whose information and judgment would be relied 
on, who doubts the fact that the disease was carried from house to house 
by goods or persons, until the whole atmosphere became charged with 
the poison, when cases arose from the common pollution of the air, as a 
matter of course. 

The fever became epidemic, according to physicians, near the 7th or 
8th of September. The first case in Jackson, according to the Marshal, 
(Col. F. Davis,) occurred at Spingler's sawmill. The man who was taken 
had been absent from Jackson about a week — no one knew where he 
had been or what he had been doing. When he retured he was sick. 
It was thought he could have been no where except to Vicksburg. He 
had been out on a spree (bust.) The saw mill is half a mile South of 
Jackson. The fever raged worst in the lower portion — the upper part 
was also affected. The second case was that of a man (Clancy) con- 
nected with a carriage establishment — whether he had been to Vicks- 
burg no one is able to say. During the time when these cases occurred, 
the physicians denied there being any yellow fever, and were saying that 
it was a great shame to set on foot reports which tended to create alarm 
or panic. I was at Jackson myself — am well acquainted there. The 
opinion was that it was introduced by the railroad. I do not know how 
many cases there were. The number of deaths was about one hundred 
and tern The number of inhabitants left after the alarm had been taken 
and during the epidemic, was, according to a census taken at the time, 
not more than six hundred. The Lunatic Asylum, which is a little dis- 
tance out of the city, and during the epidemic it was made a place of 
refuge for a great many who fled thither, in number about two hundred 
— and what is somewhat singular and remarkable, not a solitary case of 
yellow fever occurred among them. The population of Jackson is usually 
about three thousand. I am not informed concerning the particulars of 
fever at Brandon. The period of its occurrence there, however, was 
subsequent to its breaking out at Jackson. The fever did not occur in 
the interior towns. The usual population of Vicksburg, exclusive of the 
suburbs, is about six thousand. It was reduced during the epidemic to 
twenty-three or twenty-four hundred, including the suburbs. It must 
have been, during the same time about three thousand one hundred. We 
suppose there were about two thousand one hundred cases of yellow 
fever here, and nearly five hundred of these proved fatal. The portion 
of our population which suffered most were foreiguers, I think. The 

Testimony of Rev. C. K. Marshall. 81 

proportion of fatal cases, which terminated with the vomit, were one- 
half — I consider this a safe estimate. I knew of one case of recovery 
subsequent to black vomit — a youth about fourteen years old — he was 
sick twenty days. 

The epidemic here ceased near the 20th of October, sporadic cases 
did, however, occur as late as the 20th of November. I think the fever 
was introduced here through the agency of persons and goods arrived 
from New Orleans. 


There was one quite remarkable instance of spreading of the disease, 
weich occurred directly North of the city, at a distance of two miles, in 
which direction the fever spread about four miles. This gentleman went 
from town, and was sick about one week ; he then recovering, went to 
the interior, perhaps one of the watering places. About two weeks after- 
wards, the lady, Mrs. Sission, at whose house he had been sick, was 
attacked with the fever and died ; while she was sick, her neighbors came 
and nursed her, and soon after they were taken with the fever. The 
husband of the lady, Mr. Sission, next took the fever also, and died ; he 
had no black vomit. Several of his negroes also had the fever at this 
time. This was the only direction from Vicksburg which the fever spread 
as an epidemic, for any distance. In this case as in others of which I 
have been informed, the origin of the fever could not hardly be traced to 
persons and goods coming from the town. 

The fever did not spread to the plantations. Cistern water is mostly 
used in town ; a good deal of river water is used. Most all of the 
cirterns are subterranean ; there are none above ground in the whole 
place. In regard to this subject, I am pretty well informed, having some- 
time since made particular inquiries, because I had a notion of building 
a cistern for myself above ground, not because I thought the underground 
ones objectionable, but because of the superior convenience of the former 
in distributing the water through the house by pipes, and to be used in 
connexion with the others. I have supposed that exposure to bad air, 
polluted dry goods, and to the infection of persons who had the disease, 
were the chief cause of the epidemic here. I have known of several 
persons who said they had distinctly perceived the approach of the 
epidemic, in other words they had experienced a sudden sensation 
previous to actual sickness, which they were sure, was the first of the 

There is not the slightest local cause why this city should have been 
subject to the epidemic this year ; no stagnant waters worth naming 
about, no fresh excavations of earth, near the time of the appearance of 
fever, except what I myself made around in my yard, to the amount of 
two or three thousand cubic yards ; perhaps one or two others had a 
little done. 

My family have been exempt from the epidemic, except a slight fever 
by our servant ; part of my family was absent. I have never had the 
fever myself. The city in the beginning of the epidemic, was decidedly 

88 Testimony of Rev. A. B. BurrelL 

cleanly. A small pond near my residence has not been deemed injurious 
to health, and the fever was late in appearing near it. I know of very 
few who were subject to the disease and were exposed here, but had the 
fever, unless they had previously had it. 

Children have been subject to the fever. During the epidemic, there 
have been thirty-nine deaths among the negroes; thirty of them were 
from yellow fever. A majority of them, I believe, mulattoes. We had 
a quarantine which did not go into operation until after the first cases 
referred to, had occurred in the Hospital. 

We moved the wharf boat one mile below the city ; but we could not 
see that it did any good, and was in some instances evaded. People 
could land at the quarantine, and coming aroung through the woods, to 
the East, enter the town. And as boats descending the river were not 
subjected to quarantine, any one coming from New Orleans could pass 
up, and exchange boats and land in the city coming down without delay. 
I am satisfied that the only way in which we could manage a quarantine 
here, so as to render it in any way efficient, would be to establish it on 
the opposite side of the river, and doubtless the Legislature of Louisiana 
would give our city the right to establish one there, if no private rights 
were injured by it. 

Vicksbueg, January 28. 1854. 

Dear Sir — I have been prevented from writing for want of some infor- 
mation for several days, and wish for more time, but fear I may delay you 
in your duties. I have re-written the first five pages, or four and a half of 
them, and wish the other left out. I have hit quacks designedly, and with 
intent, in referring to Dr. F. The chief pedlar I call S., was a fellow 
named Scannell, from New Orleans. 

Dr. Nailor promised me a carefully prepared account of the origin and 
progress of the fever at Mr. Selser's, and was to send it to you. I have 
condensed it in the last case on the extra page ( of page five ). Hilde- 
brand was the name of the lady whose home ( four miles from our city ) 
had the deaths and the wedding referred to. I have left out all the matter 
about Jackson, as it was disconnected and imperfect. I go out there 
to-morrow, and will immediately send you the items to append in due 
form at page eight. Yours, truly, 0. K. M. 

A. B. Burrell, Esq., of Jackson, Miss., ( planter and lawyer. ) — I 
have lived in Jackson continuously for four years ; previously in Vicks- 
burg and Jackson since 1836. In Jackson, the fever appeared on the 1st 
of September. The first cases which I knew of, were brought from 
Vicksburg, in the lower part of the town. The case came on the rail- 
road, and occurred at the Baker House. 

The first citizen who was taken, was a very reputable man in a carriage 
shop, (Mr. Cloucy.) The second case was that of Mr. Spangler; and 
several cases in his family were fatal. The fever became epidemic about 
the 17th of September. I left the city at that time. The range of the 
epidemic was about one mile in length, by one-half mile in breadth. The 
population of Jackson is usually 3,500. During the fever, it was reduced, 

Testimony of Col. C. S. Tarpley. 89 

I should think, to about 1,200 ; though it is said that an actual census 
was taken at the time, and found the number only 590 ; but on inquiry, 
I found that many were left out; for instance, at my house none were 
counted, though five persons were there all the while. 

I noticed a good amount of mould during the season, especially on my 
return to the city of Jackson ; but I do not know that the amount was 
greater than usual. The fever, as epidemic, ceased on or near the 26th 
of October. Several sporadic cases, however, occurred subsequently. I 
remained during the summer, two miles away from the city, (Jackson.) 
There were in Jackson several who were subject to the fever, but did not 
have it. On going away, I left at my house in the city, my gardener, with 
his son, who had a wife and two children, all unacclimated ; being French, 
from the Rhine, and speaking only French ; had been in this country two 
or three years. I, however, enjoined on them the strictest non-intercourse. 
I provided them with all the necessaries, and told them to see nobody, 
and not to go without the yard. They said that they observed my in- 
structions, and, at all events, none of them had the fever. My house 
stands in the city, and lias a capacious yard. 

Attest : W. P. R. 

Col. C. S. Tarpley, (lawyer and planter, of Jackson, Miss.) — I reside 
in Jackson; have lived there, I may say, always. I think the fever was 
imported into Jackson, and believe that if a strict system of non-inter- 
course had been established there, we should not have had the fever at 
all ; the early facts connected with its introduction, seem to prove this 
idea. A carpenter, living at J ackson, had been to Vicksburg ; on his re- 
turn, he was taken with the fever, and died early in September. Spingler 
sat up with him and nursed him, and was very soon after taken sick him- 
self, and died also with the fever. In this portion of town where these 
cases occurred, the fever raged most extensively. Thirteen of the Spingler 
family died. I became satisfied that the disease was contagious, and made 
up my mind to remove myself and family from the city. Moreover, all 
the nurses who attended patients during the epidemic, except a few ac- 
climated ones, and those who came from New Orleans, had the fever. I 
do not know any local causes which should have induced the fever with 
such singular violence this season. With the exception of the yellow 
fever, the city had been remarkably healthy — more so than ever before. 
For instance, I have usually had to pay my physician $200 or $300 ; but 
this season not one cent. I know of no unusual prevalence of heat or 
cold, or dryness or moisture. I did not observe any unusual tendency to 
mould, either among my books or furniture. Families who returned to 
Jackson after the subsidence of the fever, and neglected to ventilate their 
houses and rooms, were pretty sure of having the fever ; those who care- 
fully ventilated, did not thus suffer. Cases carried out of Jackson did 
not spread. There were no cases in the neighboring country, except those 
carried there. I left the city on the 15th of September. The worst case 
I knew of was one who, returning to the city after the subsidence of the 
epidemic, neglected to ventilate her rooms. I do not think it is so much 

90 Testimony of Dr. Thomas J. Harper. 

personally contagious, as transportable in clothing, &c. We get rope 
and bagging from New Orleans, for plantation use, but not just previous 
to the advent of the epidemic. I do not know of any spontaneous cases ; 
there were none. The Lunatic Asylum is one and a quarter miles North 
from the town of Jackson. Many persons went out to it, and took refuge 
in it during the fever, and some of them frequently came into the town ; 
yet none of them had it. Many Jewish pedlers, &c, came out to Jack- 
son from Vicksburg, and crowded into small sbanties throughout the 
town, which I have no doubt contributed largely to the virulence of the 
epidemic. One locality was so much distinguished for this sort of popu- 
lation as to be called " Greasy Row." 

Attest: W.P.R. 

Dr. Thomas J. Harper. — I have practiced medicine in Vicksburg 
sixteen or seventeen years. Mrs. Lanier was the first case of yellow 
fever which I knew. She was taken sick about the 5th of August. 
There might have been cases in the hospital previous to hers. I 
saw Mrs. Lanier two days before her death. She had not been out 
much previous to sickness, and had not been away from the city. 
She resided near the market-house. Concerning the circumstances 
connected with the origin of her sickness, I have heard it suggested 
that a Jewish pedlar, from New Orleans, visited her house with a 
variety of goods ; some of which he sold to her. Of this I am 
assured by report ; but know nothing about the fact myself. Mr. 
Lanier had been to New Orleans a short time previous to this. The 
fever became epidemic about the 20th of August. 

The second case in the city occurred three doors from Lanier's, 
near Mr. "Woodman's, (the druggist,) about the 9th of August, in the 
house of a German Jew, a merchant tailor, whose wife was the 
subject. I attended her, (Mrs. Schultz.) She had not exposed 
herself out of the house. She lived above the store. I think Mr. 
Schultz had not received any late goods from New Orleans. The 
case was a well marked case of yellow fever. Mrs. Schultz 

I did not see Mr. Coates, who is said to be one of the earliest 
cases of yellow fever. 

The fever originated here, so far as I am able to see, and was not 
imported. I know of no local cause why the city should have been 
unusually sickly this season — the weather dry and pleasant. I did 
not remark any unusual prevalence of mould. Do not think there 
was anything remarkable connected with any uncommon tendency to 
mould. The heat of the sun seemed more oppressive than usual, 
though the thermometer did not indicate a remarkably high range! 
I hardly think the disease was contagious ; though there are some 
circumstances which have come under my observation, which seem 
to establish the fact that it is infectious. I have known of cases 
occurring in the country. None of those which I knew were spon- 
taneous. The most remarkable case occurred in the Selser family ; 

Testimony of Dr. Thomas J. Harper. 91 

but I am not acquainted with the particulars concerning them. It 
occurred three miles from town; and if I am rightly informed, 
strongly indicates infection. Hildebrandt had the fever, and his 
crops were delayed in gathering. His corn went to waste to some 
extent in consequence. When the excitement had a little subsided, 
his neighbors turned out to assist him. Among others, Mr. Ferguson, 
with his hands, worked for him about three days, and took his meals 
with Hildebrandt, &c. At that time there was no fever in the place. 
In a short time one of Mr. Ferguson's negroes was taken sick ; then 
Ferguson himself. I saw him, and pronounced his a case of yellow 
fever. Previous to this time, none of his hands had been exposed ; 
nor had he. These cases occurred in November. Some eight or ten 
days ago I saw a remarkable case, which, in like manner, seemed 
to indicate the infectious nature of the disease. It occurred at a 
boarding-house, on Main street, near the market-house. The whole 
family had had the fever during the prevalence of the epidemic. 
The fever had subsided with them in the latter part of October. 
About ten days ago a lady came to the house, and remained there 
about five or six days. She was taken ill, and sent for me. I saw 
that she was quite sick, and had no doubt but that she had yellow 
fever ; though it was considerably modified by the lateness of the 
season. I believe this was the last case we have had in the city. 

I have seen no case of recovery from black vomit. Such, how- 
ever, have occurred. I have practiced through three epidemics at 
this place. This one has been considerably different from other 
epidemics. I believe the type has been modified. Do not think it 
has been so inflammatory. I have found no unusual difficulty in 
managing it, though the treatment had to be somewhat different. 
In my practice, the proportion of fatal cases which terminated with 
black vomit, was near fifteen per cent.; that is, I lost thirty -three 
cases. Of these five died with black vomit. 

The different conditions of people seemed to exert an influence in 
regard to fatality and period of the attack. On the hill, for instance, 
there were several large houses, in each of which were crowded 
together about ninety or one hundred persons. Pretty nearly every 
one had the fever ; and many of them died. We have here, also, 
places in which emigrants congregate in filthy places, and I believe 
that these small wooden houses in which they live, have been the 
cause of much of our fever. I believe that if all the cellars and 
houses should be well ventilated, and all these small wooden build- 
ings burned down, that we should have very little, if any, yellow 
fever in this place. I have observed black vomit to occur in other 
diseases than yellow fever ; both here and in Virginia ; and therefore 
do not consider black vomit as an absolute indication and proof of 
yellow fever. 

During the epidemic, I observed very little yellowness of the skin. 
I did notice, during the sickness, a peculiar smell, which I could 

92 Testimony of Dr. F. White and Dr. G. K. Burchet. 

distingush as distinctly as I can a man's (your) face. I cannot de- 
scribe it ; yet it differs essentially from all the other smells I know of. 

Cases were carried out a mile and a half. Along the suburbs, 
which are not very thickly settled, but are inhabited by a number of 
small proprietors, the fever did not occur as an epidemic, however, 
among them. I know nothing about the introduction of the fever at 

The Northern winds are the winds which are prevalent when most 
sickness prevails. This was the fact this season, though not to an 
unusual extent. I have noted the Northeast wind generally as most 
deleterious to health. There are eight or ten physicians in this 
place. Attest: W. P. R. 

Dr. F. White, druggist.— I have never practiced medicine in this 
city ; have practiced in the country back. Since coming to Vicks- 
burg I have kept a drug store. I had the fever at my honse. Dr. 
Harper attended my family. 

I think the fever was brought to my house, and did not originate 
spontaneously. I myself was the first case. I am satisfied I took 
it at the store. Moses was the second case ; then John was taken ; 
both at the store. It was then taken at the house by others of my 

I think the disease is communicable, and believe the Jewish pedler 
brought it to Vicksburg. At the place where he stopped, pretty 
much everybody had it, and were the earliest cases. 

I did not observe a more than usual tendency to mould among the 
shoes, &c. Attest : W. P. R. 

Dr. G. K. Burchet, hospital physician. — The first case of yellow 
fever in Vicksburg occurred in the hospital ; and it could be traced to 
New Orleans. Mr. Coates was the first case in private practice. Pre- 
vious to his sickness, only one case had occurred in the hospital. That 
was a man by the name of Jackson, who was a lumberman, and had 
come to this city from New Orleans. Coates had had no communication 
Avith him. 

The second case in the city was a man who came from New Orleans on 
the Frank Lyon. Gilbert Coates died on the 1st of August. I saw him 
after he was taken. lie had black vomit. lie was not a citizen of 
Vicksburg. He had been a clerk in the hotel, and was proprietor of 
the Artesian Wells. Said he had not been to New Orleans previous to 
his being taken with the fever; but that he had been to Silver Creek. 
Came down the river, when he landed at Vicksburg. He was a clear 
case of yellow fever. 

, My opinion is that he contracted the disease here. I consider the 
epidemic as of domestic origin, and not imported. Another early case 
was Mr. Gamble, who had been to New York. Absent from Vicksburg 
about two months. There was no fever here when he returned. He 
was in fine health, and looked remarkably well. I advised him to leave 

Testimony of Dr. G. K. Burchet. 93 

the town, and that immediately, to which he agreed. He did accord- 
ingly, and stalled for home, only stopping long enough to take a drink. 
He landed in the city at 10 o'clock on Friday, and left town at 12 on the 
same day. The very next Tuesday he was taken, at home (one mile and 
a half from the town) with the fever. 

The second case in private practice was Mrs. Lanier. Mr. Lanier had 
been to New Orleans, and returned about ten days before his wife was 
taken. I think her fever was contracted here spontaneously. Some 
think it was from a dress which Mr. Lanier brought her from New Orleans. 
The third case was Mr. Bailey, a clerk in McCutcheon's store. I do not 
think he caught the disease from any person or things, but that he con- 
tracted it here (spontaneously ?) He was a receiving clerk, and might 
have been exposed to goods from New Orleans. 

The quarantine went into operation early in August. I do not think 
it done any good. I think the fever was domestic, and not imported. 

The next cases were at Mrs. Finly's, within ten days after Mr. Bailey 
was sick. More than fifty cases occurred in different localities through- 
out the city. The fever did not seem to observe regular movements in its 
progress, and it did not seem to travel in a manner which could be traced 
from one part of the town to another, but seemed to occur indifferently 
in all places. I do not know of any local cause why the fever should 
have visited Vicksburg this season so severely. Do not know of the ex- 
istence of any predisposing causes, such as stagnant water, excavations of 
earth or unusual filth. On the contrary, the city was cleaner than ordi- 
nary. I did not observe the unusual prevalence of mould. My experi- 
ence convinces me, that the fever did become somewhat infectious. One 
reason is drawn from its spread in the hospital. We have room there for 
sixty-five or seventy patients ; and, in the early part of the season, I set 
apart one ward for the accommodation of yellow fever cases ; but in a 
very short time this ward was entirely full. I had many cases of chronic 
diseases in the ward adjoining the yellow fever ward. But in the course 
of ten days from the first breaking out of the epidemic, there was not a 
patient in the whole number free from yellow fever. I saw no recoveries 
subsequent to black vomit. In crowded localities the fever raged worse. 

This is my first practice in epidemic fever. Intemperate persons were 
very obnoxious to the fever. So mania-a-potu seemed to run quickly into 
it. We have in the city many places crowded with emigrants and foreign- 
ers. Several large buildings near the railroad were very much crowded, 
in which the fever was very fatal. I have heard it said, that within a very 
small compass there are sixteen widows who lost their husbands near the 
same time. I do not know how the fever was introduced into Jackson, 
but think it was in the same manner as into this place — i. e., produced 

Clinton, which is situated on the railroad, had no fever. A great many 
went there from Vicksburg, yet no cases occurred there. Clinton is not 
situated on the river. Many persons passed through there ; many stopped 
and remained ; many received supplies from there. I did not observe any 

Oi Testimony of Br. A. L. Magruder. 

particular smell, except at the hospital. I however use snuff, and am, 
consequently not very acute in perceiving odor. 
Attest: ' W. P. K. 

Dr. A. L. Magruder. — It is my opinion that fever was imported from 
New Orleans and introduced among us, by means of steamboats bringing 
persons and goods. The first case which I saw was at the hospital, and 
came from Orleans on board the Empire City ; which, besides, had some 
fifteen other cases. This was previous to the establishment of our qua- 
rantine, 23d of July. When the man landed he was a little indisposed 
only, and had intended going further up the river ; but the boat left him 
while he was getting some medicine. He grew rapidly worse, and went 
into the hospital. 

By the kindness of Dr. Burchet, I was permitted to see him as often 
as I pleased, and I took great interest in watching the progress of the dis- 
ease. I saw him every day. He did not throw up black vomit, but was 
a decided and well marked case of yellow fever. 

We made a post mortem examination, and found his stomach full of 
black vomit. His liver was of straw color and almost white. I believe 
that no cases originated from him here. 

The second case was William Quimby, who came up from New Orleans, 
as a hand on the Frank Lyon. He was in this city three or four days 
before he was taken sick. Arrived on the 30th July, and died October 
the 4th. There was no spreading from this case. 

The third case was Mr. Coates, whose disease was said by some to be 
swamp fever. The fourth case was Mrs. Lanier, who died, with black 
vomit. In regard to the origin of her case, Ave found out that a Jew 
pedler, John Scanner, had lately been to the city of New Orleans, and 
on returning to Vicksburg, he stopped at a house close by where Mrs. 
Lanier lived — on the adjoining lot. The day on which he arrived, he 
unpacked his goods and took them to exhibit in different parts of the 
city. He called at Mrs. Lanier's, and sold her a woolen dress. On the 
next day she was seized with the fever. Mrs. Fuget's case, near by, was 
next ; and not a single person escaped it in her family. These cases all 
occurred before the breaking out of fever as an epidemic. From this 
vicinity, Mrs. Long's boarding-house, the fever seemed to radiate ; and 
only ten days subsequent to Mrs. Fuget's case ; broke out as an epidemic. 
I had cases in other portions of the town, but I have studied their origin 
closely, and not a case came under my notice which I could not distinctly 
trace back to this locality. Mrs. Fuget's house is near the centre of the 
town, just West of the market. 

I am not aware of any local causes which should induce or favor the 
prevalence of yellow fever this season here. Vicksburg was never in a 
more beautiful and cleanly condition. Mr. Fuget lives in a very cleanly 

All other febrile diseases seemed to vanish and run into yellow fever. 
I have practiced here through three epidemics. I look upon this one as 
of a peculiar type ; we call it the typhoid yellow fever. 

Testimony of Dr. J. C. Nott. 95 

I did not observe any remarkable prevalence of mould, and unusual 
abundance of insects, musquetoes, &c. I perceived for some time during 
tbe epidemic a peculiar remarkable odor, which only disappeared at the 
close of the epidemic. 

I do not consider the disease contagious, in the proper sense of the 
word ; but that it was infectious, I have no doubt. Clothes and goods 
which can inclose air, I believe to be most efficient transmitters of the 
infection. I have given a good deal of attention to matters pertaining to 
the origin and spread of the epidemic this season, and have kept careful 
memoranda, which I am now collating and compiling, and intend to send 
Dr. Fenner, of New Orleans, and shall finish the subject in a few days. 
In my paper I have included all the particulars which I have mentioned, 
and others. Attest : W. P. R. 



Gentlemen : — I herein transmit to you such facts as I have been able 
to collect, bearing on the epidemic yellow fever which prevailed in and 
around the city of Mobile, during the summer and autumn of 1853. 

The disease this season has pursued such an unusual course, as to bring 
under discussion again the long neglected idea of contagion, which I, in 
common with most members of the profession, had regarded as obsolete. 
However it may be explained, the fact is none the less certain, that the 
disease has extended not only to all the little settlements within five or 
six miles of the city, but to Citronelle, the present terminus of the Ohio 
Railroad, thirty -three miles from town ; and to the various towns on the 
rivers tributary to our bay as far as steamboats have gone and no farther 
— to Montgomery and Demopolis, for example ; to say nothing of many 
intermediate points. 

The first cases of yellow fever which occurred in Mobile, it is conceded 
on all hands, were imported from New Orleans on board the barque 
Miltiades; and for the following facts I am indebted to Doctor Walkly, 
and Mr. Cox, one of our most respectable stevedores — Doctor Walkly's 
information was derived from the captain of the barque and the second 
mate of the steamer Daniel Pratt, which acted as lighter to her. 

The Miltilades sailed from Portland, Maine, to New Orleans, where she 
lost several of her crew with yellow fever ; from thence she came to Mobile 
Bay and anchored below Dog River Bar, some fifteen or twenty miles 
below town, on the 11th July; and on the 13th, Peter Johnson, one of 
the crew was sent to our Marine Hospital, in the back part of the city, 
one mile from the wharves, where he died with black vomit. Dr. Lopez, 
surgeon of tliis hospital, informs me that this man entered on the 11th 
instead of the 13th, in articulo mortis, and that he had been sick at sea 
five days with yellow fever. 

9G Testimony of Dr. J. C. Nott. 

On the 14th, three days after the arrival of the vessel, the stevedores 
went on board to load her with cotton for Liverpool. One of them, John 
Johnson, was taken down with the yellow fever on the 19 th or 20th, and 
was brought to town on the steamer Daniel Pratt, and placed in the 
"Sailors' Home," where he died with black vomit on the 25th. On the 
25th, four others were brought up from the vessel sick, by the same steamer. 
One was taken to No. 9 Government street; one to Franklin street, below 
Eslava, and another went to the hospital. 

On the 1st of August, the second engineer of the Daniel Pratt was 
taken down with the same disease and recovered. Dr. Levert saw a 
stevedore, David Nichols, with yellow fever, from the same vessel, on the 
27th July. 

These, as far as I can learn, include all the cases from this vessel. There 
were, however, other imported cases, preceding the appearance of the 
disease among our citizens, as the following facts will show ; and these, 
like the former, cannot be questioned. 

On the record of our " City Hospital" the following entries are made 
of yellow fever cases : July 23d, one; 25th, two; 26th, three — all of whom 
were laborers that had fled from the epidemic in New Orleans, and were 
either sick on arrival or taken soon after. It may be worthy of remark en 
passant, that I was informed by the Sisters of Charity that the disease did 
not spread among the inmates of this hospital until some time afte - , 
when it had become epidemic throughout the city. 

After diligent inquiry among the physicians, the first case I can trace 
among our citizens who had no communication with the Miltiades, was 
Mr. McDowell, a patient of Dr. Levert ; he slept at Hollywood, a watering 
place on the opposite side of the bay, and came to town every day on the 
steamboat Junior; he sickened on the 31st of July, and recovered. 

A few days after this, rumor was busily at work, and cases were talked 
of in different parts of the town, but having no connection with each 
other. On the 18th, I made a memorandum in my note-book, to the effect 
that up to that date, from the best information, there had been in the 
town about thirty cases. I inquired among the physicians as to their dates 
and localities, and could trace no connection among the cases ; they seem 
to have been sown broad-cast over a mile square. I kept, as is my cus- 
tom, the range of the thermometer, the winds and rain, from the 1st of 
May until frost, and could see nothing in the season to account for disease. 
May, June and July were temperate, showery, pleasant, and remarkably 
exempt from all febrile diseases. Nor was there anything in the type of 
diseases to foreshadow yellow fever. Yet, I predicted, a month before its 
appearance, with great confidence, that we should have a terrible epidemic 
in Mobile, and simply from the fact that I had never known the disease 
early in the season to attack Vera Cruz, West India Islands and New 
Orleans, without completing the circuit of the Gulf. I expected unusual 
virulence; because this had been its character everywhere it had gone; 
and I shall be greatly deceived if the same disease does not attack cities 
on the Atlantic next season, and particularly Philadelphia. The genu is 
sleeping, but not dead. 

Testimony of Dr. J. C. Nott. 97 

It should be remarked that our corporate authorities had shown unu- 
sual activity in cleansing our city, and long before the appearance of the 
disease, everything had been done which foresight and prudence could do, 
to ward off the scourge. 

The foregoing statement includes, as far as I know, all the essential facts 
connected with the late epidemic in the city. I now propose to give what 
information I have gathered relative to its extension from this point to 
others around the city and along the rivers. 

''Spring Hill" is a part of a sandy, pine hill region, West of Mobile ; 
150 feet above tide water, and six miles distant from the wharves of the 
city ; it has been a summer retreat for many years ; is watered by excellent 
springs; and has heretofore been considered exempt from yellow fever, or 
any form of malarious disease. This settlement covers about three-fourths 
of a mile square, with the virgin pine forest still standing, and includes 
about thirty families, together with St. Joseph's College, which contains 
about two hundred resident pupils. The epidemic commenced its ravages 
at Spring Hill about the 5th of September, and we shall give the history 
of its progress. 

On the 12th of August, just about the time the yellow fever began to 
assume the epidemic form in Mobile, and one month after the first im- 
ported case, I was called to see a young gentleman, Mr. Alfred Murray, 
with a well marked attack of the disease, at a boarding house in Mobile, 
on St. Louis street, near St. Joseph ; and on the 14th had him removed on 
a bed to the house of his brother-in-law, Mr. Wheeler, on Spring Hill, 
about the centre of the settlement. He recovered, and twenty days after 
he entered the house, 5th September, two of Mr. Wheeler's children were 
attacked with the epidemic, and about two weeks after two other children 
were attacked ; three had black vomit, and two died. 

On the 22d August. Mr. Stramler moved his family from town to Spring 
Hill, and occupied the house of John B. Toulmin ; on the 27th, he car- 
ried out a negro woman sick with intermittent fever, who died on the 31st, 
under circumstances which I need not detail ; but I have every reason to 
believe she did not have yellow fever. 

Mr. Greer moved with his family to the same house on the 29th, from 
town, carrying a daughter convalescing from yellow fever ; another daugh- 
ter sickened on the 8th ; three of Mrs. Flemming's children in the same 
house, on the 10th; and Mrs. John Greer on the next day; Mrs. Flem- 
ming on the loth, and John H. Greer two or three days after. This 
house is about 300 yards Northwest of Mr. Wheeler's. 

My father-in-law, Col. Deas, lives on a lot about 100 yards North of the 
last named house, and his household, white and black, consisted of sixty 
persons. On the 7th September, one of his negro women was attacked, 
on an adjoining lot ; on the 8th, his daUghter-in-law, Mrs. John Deas ; and 
on the 9th, Mrs. Brown, his daughter; each being in a different inclosure, 
and one hundred yards from each other. The disease then spread rapidly 
through the families of the three adjoining premises, attacking whites and 
blacks indiscriminately. Fifty-four were attacked out of the sixty, and 

S8 Testimony of Dr. J. C. Nott. 

in fourteen days the whole tale was told — five whites, two mulattoes and 
one black were dead with black vomit, and the rest were convalescent. 
One-half of the whites attacked died ; and I had never in twenty-five 
years practice witnessed such a scene, among a class of people well lodged, 
in clean, well ventilated apartments, and surrounded by every possible 
comfort, and this too, on a high, barren sand hill, nearly six miles from 
the city. 

Cases existed simultaneously at Wra. Stewart's, Mr. Wheeler's, and 
Mr. Purvis's and Toulmin's houses, widely separated from each other ; 
and in the latter part of September and through October, the disease 
visited the houses of Capt. Stein, McMillan, Rev. Mr. Knapp, Mrs. George, 
Dubose's, John Battle's, and some others. The disease skipped about in 
an extraordinary manner ; some houses escaped entirely, some had but 
one or two cases. I could see no connection between the houses or in- 
mates to explain the order of attack. There was scarcly a fatal case 
among those attacked after the 16th September — not more than two or 

The great majority of the subjects on Spring Hill had had no commu- 
nication with the city for many weeks, and it is worthy of note that the 
disease had attacked most of the country between the "Hill and town be- 
fore it reached the Hill ; though some neighborhoods, as the Nunnery, 
and around it as far as Hubbell's, escaped. As far as I can learn, the 
disease did not spread among the country population beyond Spring Hill, 
which is sparse. 

Citronelle. — This is the name of a village which has sprung up in the 
last twelve months, thirty-three miles from Mobile, at the present ter- 
minus of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. It is situated on a beautiful 
plateau of pine land, about 400 feet above tide water, and has been con- 
sidered, like all these pine hills at the South, perfectly healthy. 

The following is an extract from a letter of Dr. James S. Gaines a 
most promising and estimable young gentleman, who witnessed the facts. 
This letter was dated 4th October, 1853, and published in the Mobile Ad- 
vertiser, of the 6th : 

"The local population of Citronelle is 250; adding the boarders at the 
hotels and different boarding houses, say 100, it will make our popula- 
tion about 350. This estimate of the population does not include over 
one hundred hands in the immediate vicinity of Citronelle. I have seen 
and treated, since the 16th of August, fifty-three cases of yellow fever; 
thirteen out of this number have died. There have been seven other 
deaths since this date ; they were not seen by me, but from what I could 
learn, five out of this number were from yellow fever ; making the total 
number of deaths since the 16th of August up to date, twenty. ^ That will 
just make an average of one death to seventeen of the population. The 
first case that 1 was satisfied of its originating here, occurred on the 11th 
of September, since which time there have been several clear cases and 
within the last ten days the number has been increasing' some of them 
of a very malignant type. I have no idea that the disease could have 

Testimony of Dr. J. C. Nott and Mr. Chas. Wattleworth. 09 

originated here, had it not been for the frequent communication between 
this point and Mobile ; and it is not singular that it should have done so, 
when we reflect that the baggage cars are almost air tight when closed, 
running from Mobile to this point in two hours." • 

The Doctor, unhappily, did not live to tell the whole tale — he himself 
fell a victim to the disease soon after this date. Many more of the popu- 
lation died, and sixteen out of eighteen of the employees on the rail- 
road, besides many laborers. There are no data for accurate statis- 
tics, but from what I can learn, something like a fourth or fifth of the 
population along the road from Mobile to Citronelle died. According to 
Dr. Gaines' statement, there was just a month between the first case im- 
ported into Mobile and the first at Citronelle. 

The Dog River Cotton Factory is situated Southwest of Mobile, about 
five miles, and has within its inclosure of some twenty or thirty acres, 
about 300 operatives, including their families. The houses are built in a 
hollow square, and form a complete village. Mr. Charles Wattleworth, 
one of the most efficient and intelligent officers of the establishment, under 
date of 21st November, writes the following reply to certain queries : 

" Dear Sir : — In answer to yours of yesterday, I send you the follow- 
ing account of the deaths and recoveries from yellow fever in our imme- 
diate neighborhood : 

"The first case we had was a man that had been to New Orleans; he 
was taken ill on the 18th August, (two days after his return) and died 
on the 22d; a man that waited on him died about the same time. 

"The next cases that occurred were about the 1st September ; they 
were about six in number, and the parties had been in the habit of going 
frequently to town. 

" The first cases that appeared here among parties that had been in no 
way connected with the city, or with the sick, occurred on the 9th Oc- 
tober ; there were five cases on the evening of that day, and about the 
13 th there were five more. Other cases have occurred since that time, and 
there are three sick at present, (21st November,) one of which is not ex- 
pected to live. 

" The whole number that died of yellow fever up to date, is twenty- 
three ; and forty-six have recovered. 

Yours, &c, Chas. Wattleworth." 

What is called St. Stephen's Road goes off from Mobile in a North- 
west direction, and is so densely populated for five miles as to present 
much the appearance of a continuous village. My friend, Dr. E. P. 
Gaines, who lives about four miles from town on this road, had ample op- 
portunities for investigating the epidemic, and to him I am indebted for 
the following facts. 

The following cases all occurred from two to four miles from town, 
on the St. Stephen's Road, or in other words, between the JCreek and 
Gen. Toulmin's residence. August 23d, two cases ; 24th, one ; 30th, 
two : September 1st, one. These were all contracted in town. 

100 Testimony of Dr. J. C. Nott. 

The following were the first originating in the country : September 
4th, one; 7th, one; 9th, one; 11th, two; 12th, two; 16th, one— Miss. 
Willsou, the first death with black vomit,— and from this date the disease 
became decidedly epidemic. 

Dr. Gaines thinks the disease contagious, and narrated to me some 
instances which are difficult to explain on any other ground. The dis- 
ease extended out in this direction some ten miles, into the neighborhood 
of William Cleveland. 

Heretofore in Mobile the colored population, except in 1819, have 
escaped yellow fever ; this year they have been as generally attacked 
as the whites, but with less fatality ; there have been at least fifty deaths 
among them this season from yellow fever, and Jhe mulattoes have 
suffered more than blacks. 

Children, who heretofore have been little liable, this year have been 
generally and violently attacked. No acclimation short of an attack of 
yellow fever, has served this year as a protection ; not only many who 
have lived here fifteen or twenty years, and passed through several 
epidemics untouched, but grown up natives, and even those advanced in 
life, have been fatally attacked. There were very few second attacks. 
I saw but one clear case. 

It is remarkable that not only some neighborhoods around the town 
escaped, within three or four miles, but many houses in town. Mrs. 
McKnight, a milliner, lived in Claiborne street, between Dauphin and 
St. Francis, and she, with eleven unacclimated girls, escaped entirely. 
Other examples of the same kind occurred. 

Elevation seemed to have no influence over it. The Battle House, 
a large and superb new notel, had just been completed and occupied 
but a few months ; it was as clean as any building could be, and as well 
ventilated. The female Irish servants slept in the fifth story, and the 
males in the basement. They were nearly all attacked, and about one 
half died. The cleanest parts and best residences in the city suffered 
as much as the small buildings in filthy alleys. 

On the opposite side of the bay, while many cases occurred at isola- 
ted houses, and some sixty deaths between the village and Point Clear, 
yet Freeman's and the Point Clear hotels, having more than one hun- 
dred regular boarders each, escaped almost entirely, though cases were 
brought to them from Mobile and. New Orleans. 

Contagion. — Under this head, according to my views, two distinct 
questions have been confounded, viz, the contagiousness and the trans- 
2)ortability of a disease. A disease may not be contagious in the pro- 
per acceptation of the term, that is, communicable from one human body 
to another, like small pox ; and still it does not follow that the germ or 
materies morbi may not be transported from one place to another in a 
vessel or baggage car, and there be propagated. 

With regard to the contagiousness of yellow fever, my mind is still 
undecided, nor is my conviction yet complete with regard to its trans- 
portability. In the epidemics of yellow fever which I have witnessed 

Testimony of Dr. J. C. Nott. 101 

on former occasions, 1837 — '9 — '42 — '43 — '47, the evidence seemed 
to be decidedly against contagion; while in 1853 the facts have been 
so conflicting as to leave me still in doubt, though my leaning is rather 
in favor of the contagiousness of this epidemic. 

The reader need not be told how completely Ave are in the dark with 
regard to the laws by which epidemic diseases are propagated, to say 
nothing of their obscure origin. It is a common opinion that the de- 
composition of animal or vegetable substances may and do produce 
certain gaseous emanations which rise into the air ; are diffused through 
it, and thus produce yellow fever ; but this theory will not bear a mo- 
ment's examination. If a gas, the cause of yellow fever must obey the 
laws of gases, and be very soon diffused, by changing currents of wind, 
all over the city, from a given point. Yellow fever, on the contrary, is 
extremely erratic in its course. It prevailed this season in Mobile for 
more than two months as an epidemic, and attacking new houses every 
day in different parts of the city; houses on opposite sides of the street, 
or beside each other, were attacked at intervals of several weeks, 
and many houses escaped entirely, or had but one or two cases, in 
the very heart of the city. If the cause was in a gaseous form, how 
could it thus skip from house to house in town, and travel in the 
same erratic way for miles around the town? It is a curious fact 
that Montgomery, Demopolis, and Spring Ilill were attacked about the 
same time, viz: between the 1st and 5th of September; while Selma 
and Dog River Factory were not attacked until about the 8th of October ; 
Spring Hill and Dog River Factory are within five miles of Mobile, while 
the other points are two hundred. Intermediate points, like the houses 
in town beside each other, were attacked at irregular intervals. 

The above facts would seem to disprove the idea that the cause of 
yellow fever exists as a gaseous emanation, and we must seek some 
more plausible hypothesis. An examination of the facts tends more 
to show that the cause exists in an organic form, and possesses the 
power of propagation and progression by organic laws. The trans- 
portability of yellow fever, to say the least, rests upon much more 
stable support than its contagiousness ; for however conflicting the 
minor details may be ; the broad fact stands out that the disease was 
not only a traveling disease, but traveled to those points on the Gulf 
of Mexico frequented by vessels and railroads, and no farther. When 
on former years yellow fever visited Vera Cruz, the West India Islands 
and New Orleans early in the summer, it has almost invariably ex- 
tended along the coast of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. So in 
1853, after it had marched from Rio to New Orleans, I predicted with 
certainty that it would continue its march around the Gulf; and, 
although we had had a cool, showery, pleasant summer in Mobile, 
and extraordinary sanitary precautions had been taken, I advised my 
friends to fly, and was called an alarmist. 

It has been, too, the invariable habit of yellow fever, when it has 
visited Mobile, to commence first in the city, and not to attack the sur- 

102 Testimony of Dr. J. C. Nott. 

rounding country for several weeks. Why, if it depends upon an 
atmospheric cause, should it not attack the settlements around for five 
miles, as soon as the town ? 

It is a fact worthy of note that the yellow fever this season has 
visited every point on the Lake where the New Orleans boats have 
touched ; while Portersville, where they did not touch, has escaped — 
Biloxi, Pass Christian, Pascagoula, &c, have all been attacked. At 
Portersville, where several hundred people were assembled, and about 
one hundred and fifty in one inclosure, no cases occurred, though five 
imported cases were brought in, nursed by different persons, and two 
died with black vomit. These facts 1 have from Dr. J. W. Moore, a 
very intelligent gentleman who lives at Portersville, and saw every 
case of sickness that occurred there. 

Other facts favor the transportability of the germ or materies morbi. 
It is admitted that a vessel may go from an infected to an uninfected 
port; carry the materies morbi with her, and that persons at the latter 
port may go on board the infected vessel, take the disease and die 
with it ; hundreds of examples of this kind have occurred, and the 
barque Miltiades, alluded to above, is a case in point. The stevedores 
of Mobile, as did two men from the steamer Daniel Pratt, which lay 
alongside of her, took yellow fever from her. It is by no means an 
unreasonable idea to suppose that the materies morbi may have been 
transmitted to the Daniel Pratt, that was carrying freight to her for 
some days and by her brought to the city. 

It is also a fact perfectly well established, that yellow fever has in 
many instances started in an alley or other point in a city, and gradu- 
ally extended itself through the whole or part of a city ; this has 
occurred twice, in my day, in Mobile — 1842 and 1843 — each year 
taking several weeks to travel half across the city, and each year 
prevailing in different parts of the city. In 1842 the disease com- 
menced in the Southern part of the city, and spread over one half; 
and in 1843 it commenced in the extreme North and covered the part 
of the city untouched the previous year. This fact and others lead 
me strongly to believe that Philadelphia will be scourged next sum- 
mer, and probably other Atlantic cities. 

It is notorious that yellow fever has repeatedly spread from a point 
in Philadelphia and New York. So slow has been its progress that 
they have fenced it in, and in some days after, discovering that the 
disease was progressing, they have moved the fence to keep pace 
with it. A very reliable old gentleman, who was a member of the 
Board of Health in New York in 1822 or '23, when yellow fever 
prevailed, told me that by actual calculation it traveled torty feet a 
day on that occasion. 

If, then, the materies morbi of yellow fever can be transported in 
the hold of a vessel from one port to another ; and if it can be propa- 
gated from a single point in a city throughout that city ; why may the 
disease not make its point of departure an infected vessel lyin^ at a 

Testimony of Dr. J. C. Nott. 103 

wharf, as well as an infected alley, or other point of land ? As far as 
reasoning goes, I confess I can see no difference, and the spread of 
yellow fever in 1793 from a vessel in Philadelphia, and numerous 
other examples since, would seem strongly to favor the idea that a city 
may, under certain unknown circumstances, receive and propagate 
the materies morbi of yellow fever from an infected vessel. It is true 
that infected vessels have often arrived in ports without communicat- 
ing the disease, but the same may be said of small-pox and other 
strictly contagious diseases — a negative does not disprove a positive 

Nor can the admission of the occasional importation of yellow 
fever into New Orleans or Mobile conflict with the fact, that sporadic 
cases or epidemics may spring up from germs which have been long 
slumbering in these cities. The facts do not conflict. 

A doubt was long ago started as to the indigenous origin of yellow 
fever in America. Many have contended that it is an imported Afri- 
can disease ; and I confess that my mind is by no means free from 
doubt on this point. Cholera, small-pox, measles and scarlet fever 
are all Asiatic diseases ; all imported into Europe since the Crusades 
and into America since the conquest. So recent is scarlet fever in this 
country, that Dr. Rush remarked, fifty years ago, that the disease was 
so rare that one physician would not be likely to see it more than once 
in his lifetime ! It was never known as far South as the Carolinas 
before about 1830, and yet how common has it become. These dis- 
eases have all the habits here which they had in their original country ; 
they lie dormant for a time and then wake up to their work of de- 
struction ; they travel from place to place in the most erratic manner, 
by laws impenetrable to us. Some may be transported by contagion, 
others not ; some may be transported both by epidemic laws and by 
contagion. Scarlet fever, for example, may break out and prevail as 
an epidemic without its origin being traced, or it may be transported 
by contagion. 

Some five years ago I published an article in the New Orleans 
Medical and Surgical Journal, to show that the animalcular hypothe- 
sis explained better the erratic habits of yellow fever than any other, 
and every day's experience and reflection since have strengthened 
those views ; but I will not here repeat them. I am fully aware of 
the numerous and ingenious objections which have been urged, and 
among others those in the recent paper of Prof. Leidy, in which he 
pronounces the idea " absurd." 

I am not disposed to open the discussion at present, but must be 
permitted to say, that ingenious and philosophical as are the experi- 
ments of Prof. Leidy, they are wholly inconclusive to my mind. 
Prof. Agassiz, whose authority will be allowed in any scientific assem- 
bly ; regards all microscopic observations heretofore made in this 
department as so defective, that he informs me he has not assigned 
the infusoria a place in his classification of the animal kingdom. 


Testimony of Dr. J. C. Nott. 

Microscopic observations are yet but in their infancy, and in reaching 
the causes of disease it is as far behind reality as we know chemistry 
to be. 

In reasoning from analogy, the " Insect hypothesis " of Sir Henry 
Holland explains best the habits of certain epidemic diseases, and it 
is the part of true philosophy to abandon such theories as the old 
malarial one, which is in accordance with no known laws, and to 
explore in a direction towards which rational hypothesis points. Prof. 
Leidy says " none of the well known animalculae are poisonous. At 
various times I have purposely swallowed large draughts of water 
containing myriads of Monas, Vibrio, Sfc., Sf., without ever having 
perceived any subsequent effect." He might have swallowed the 
poison of the viper with the same impunity. By what various means 
the poison of insects or animaculae might be communicated through 
the air or directly to individuals, we know not. During the past 
summer I knew a lady of very nervous temperament to be kept for 
weeks in a nervous, neuseated state, from the effluvia of certain 
insects on trees in the yard ; while no one else perceived it, or was 
affected by it ; she did not recover until the season for the insects had 
passed over. Here is a perfect analogy to the Rhus Vernix and other 
vegetable substances alluded to by Prof. Leidy, as capable of poison- 
ing the air. Similar analogies abound. 

Table of Interments in the Mobile Cemeteries during the Yellow Fever 
Epidemic from 1st August to 1st November, 1853. 













?l 26 


" 2 







" 3 


" 11 






ii 4 


" 12 


" 20 




" 5 


" 13 




'• 29 


" 6 


ii 14 


" 22 




« 7 




" 23 







" 16 




September ..1 


September . 9 


September. 17 


September. 25 










" 3 




" 19 






" 12 


" 20 








" 21 




" 6 


" 14 


ii 22 





" 7 


" 15 






" 16 




October 1 


October 9 


October 17 


October .. .25 


" 2 




" 18 








" 19 




" 4 


" 12 






" 5 


" 13 




" 29 


«! 6 


" 14 




" 30 


u 7 


" 15 


" 23 







" 16 





The epidemic had so exhausted itself by the 26th October, that the 
Medical Board announced that it was at an end, and discontinued their 
daily reports ; scattering cases, however, continued to occur through- 

Testimony of A. H. Hutchinson. 105 

out the months of November and December ; and I find on examin- 
ing the records of the sextons, that twenty-five deaths in November, 
and fifteen in December are placed to the yellow fever list. The last 
death was on the 16th of December ; but other cases, not fatal, oc- 
curred later. 

The above table includes deaths from all causes, and we possess no 
data by which we can classify with accuracy the different diseases for 
those months ; but we can approximate the number of deaths from 
yellow fever alone sufficiently near for all practical purposes. The 
aggregate, from all causes, during the three months, was 1331 ; and 
those informed on the subject will allow that fifteen deaths a week, or 
sixty a month, would cover the mortality at this season of the year 
from all other causes than fever, and particularly during the prevalence 
of an epidemic. According to this estimate, the three epidemic months 
would give an aggregate of 180 deaths from causes exclusive of yel- 
low fever. The facts may be tabulated as follows : 

Deaths during August, Sept., and Oct., from all causes 1,331 

" for same period from other causes than yellow fever 180 

" " " " yellow fever alone 1,151 

" during Nov. and Dec'r, from yellow fever alone 40 

Total of yellow fever from 1st Aug. to 16th December, 1,191 

About fifty of the deaths from yellow fever were among the colored 
population ; and this class was almost as universally attacked as the 
whites ; which shows a degree of malignity unknown in Mobile since 
1819 ; when the disease attacked Creoles, negroes and Indians. 

The winter population of Mobile is at present about 25,000, of 
which at least one-third were absent during the epidemic ; some of 
the latter remained in the vicinity, and many went to the interior or 
other States. It should, however, be borne in mind, that our city cem- 
eteries are the repositories of most of the dead for several miles around 
the city, as well as for the steamboats ; and that our bills of mortality 
may therefore exhibit a larger per centage on our population than 
truth would justify. But to mitigate the facts as we may; 1331 deaths 
in ninety days is a terrible mortality ; and had the population remained 
in the city, I see no reason to doubt that the white portion would have 
been more than decimated. Certain it is, that in many villages along 
the Gulf States, where the number of inhabitants could be closely ap- 
proximated, and where none were " acclimated," this fearful epidemic 
comitted ravages far beyond decimation. 

Mobile, December 18th, 1853. 


Bladen Springs. — I include two cases which occurred at the landing, 
four miles from this place. 

106 Testimony of Mr. R. W. Adams and Dr. A. G. Mabry. 

Surface soil — sandy. 

No stagnant water in our vicinity ; distant four miles from the Bigbee 

Drainage. — Water runs off freely. 

All these cases had been in a locality where yellow fever was pre- 
vailing; none are believed to have risen from the handling of goods, 
clothing, &c; and none to have originated spontaneously, without any 
suspicion of intercourse with other cases of the disease. The cases 
of yellow fever which occurred here were the same as those of Mo- 
bile, Alabama. All who died had black vomit. 

Yellowness of shin. — None but those who died. 

I do not regard the disease as true yellow fever. I have never seen 
the disease before. Numbers were attendant on the few that were sick 
here; yet no one took it. 

The weather was very dry during the months of July and August ; 
hot in the sun, and pleasant in the shade. An unusually regular and 
continuous sea breeze was felt during this time. Commencing on the 
last of August or first of September, we had frequent gusts of wind 
from the South, accompanied with showers of rain ; but less thunder 
and lightning than I have ever witnessed. 

We had fewer flies than usual, but more musquetoes, which con- 
tinued during the season; but little mould, and that of a very white, 
dry appearance. 

Many visitors from the cities, who did not take the disease, were at- 
tacked, after coming here, with diarrhoea and dysentery. The de- 
rangement tending to yellow fever no doubt passed into other forms of 
disease, as it was not common to persons from the interior of the 


Mr. Adams left New Orleans on the 15th of August. On his arri- 
val at Mobile, being fatigued, and having exposed himself to the in- 
fluence of the sun, he was unwell. On his arrival at Montgomery, he 
was attacked with fever. This was twelve days after his departure 
from New Orleans; thinks he had yellow fever, from the similarity of 
symptoms with the disease he contracted in 184 1. Mr. Washburn, who 
accompanied him, died there ; supposed to have been laboring under 
delirium tremens, as he drank to excess. There were no other cases 
of fever in Montgomery at that time. 


The city of Selma is situated on a very high bluff on the West 
side of the Alabama river, in latitude about 32£ deg., and nearly 
two hundred miles from tide water. Owing to a bend which the 
river makes at this point, the city is nearly North of it ; occupvin^ 

Testimony of Dr. A, G. Mabry. 107 

a very level plain; extending North three-quarters of a mile from the 
river and on its bank, East and West, two miles. 

The soil is chiefly sand, resting on a bed of rotten limestone with 
a stratum of clay of variable thickness and of unequal distance from 
the surface running through its whole extent. The lime rock imme- 
diately on the bluff, is found near the surface, but soon dips and re-ap- 
pears again two miles off beyond the limits of the city ; thus forming 
a concave bed for the immense deposite of sand on which the city 

Almost every tenement within the corporation limits is supplied 
with a well, which at the depth of from eighteen to twenty-six feet 
affords an abundant supply of delightful stone-water, and in addition 
to these, we have a number of Artesian wells, the waters of which 
differ little from that of the common wells. 

In the business part of the city, as might be expected, the houses 
are compactly built ; but the lots of the private residences are large and 
the buildings far apart. 

The streets are wide and running North and South and East and 
West, cross each other at right angles ; they are uniformly dry and 
clean, and the whole city, wth one exception, has been kept free from 
all offensive accumulations of every description, 

There are no canals, ditches, pools or other places that contain 
stagnant water within or near the limits of the city. There are two 
creeks near by; one half a mile, the other two miles off, and they both 
empty into the river ; one is a very small stream, confined to narrow 
limits with precipitous limestone bluffs, the other is more flat, but most 
of the marshes on it for some years past have been reclaimed and brought 
into cultivation. 

Most of the business is transacted on Broad street and at the foot 
of it, or where it terminates on the river bluff near its intersection with 
Water street; there has been a large gully made by the washing away 
of the sand by the water which passes down the two streets and collects 
there in quite a large volume before it enters the river. This wash 
encroaches upon these two important streets at their intersection with 
each other to such an extent as to make it an object for the last fifteen 
years, not only to stay its further progress, but to repair the damage 
already done. For these purposes immense quantities of brush, shavings, 
logs and every thing of the kind that could be conveniently obtained, 
have been, from time to time, thrown in and covered with sand. About 
the middle of last summer, however, a compairy of gentlemen having 
purchased the end of Broad street, including the gully, commenced 
their excavations for a building 120 feet by 100 feet; these excavations 
were continued until they reached a depth of more than 20 feet below 
the surface, giving room for two stories under ground, and embracing 
the gully. All deposits heretofore made had now necessarily to be 
exhumed, and much that was thus dug up and removed was spread 
out on Water street, in front and beyond the site of the building each 

108 Testimony of Dr. A. G. Mabry. 

Way, and the balance heaped up on vacant lots near by, and all exposed 
to the rays of the sun. Other excavations were made in the same 
streets, and the earth, as in the former case, was deposited on Water 
street. Diagonally opposite the first excavation, on the corner of the 
same street, a decayed old wooden building was torn down, and much 
filth exposed. The decayed lumber of this old building was purchased 
by a German living two squares from its former site, and piled in his 
yard near his house. 

The weather during the summer and fall, was generally hot and 
dry ; the spi'ing was a wet one, until the latter part of May ; the hot 
and dry weather continuing until the last of July. 

Up to the middle of September, the year was considered unusually 
healthy ; but at this time a change took place from summer to fall 
weather, and we had some cold East winds, and a very remarkable 
increase in the number of remitting and intermitting fevers ; which, as 
usual at that season of the year, had been prevailing. Many cases of 
influenza occurred about this time. From the 1st to the 25th of 
October, the weather was dry and hot for the season. We had frost 
on the 25th. 

About the 1st of September, a German, a clerk in a grocery store 
on the corner of Broad and Water streets, was taken sick and died, 
with symptoms of yellow fever. 

On the 16th of September, the wife of the German who purchased 
the old building sickened ; and died in a few days of what we are 
now convinced was yellow fever. This man had three children ; all 
of whom died, successively, within two weeks of their mother; mak- 
ing four, out of a family of six, who died within that time. 

On the 17th, a Northern man, employed in the iron foundry, was 
taken sick at his boarding-house, corner of Green and Water streets, 
and died with what was considered by the friends in attendance as 
yellow fever and black vomit. About the 20th, a family came up 
from Mobile, a number of which had yellow fever; they evaded the 
quarantine regulations established on the 13th; Drs. Barnum and 
Blevins having been appointed health officers ; they had no communi- 
cation with the citizens, having violated the law. 

On the 6th of October, a young gentleman, clerk in a clothing store 
on Broad, near the corner of Water street, was taken sick, and died 
with symptoms showing a well marked case of yellow fever. On the 
8th, Mr. Mitchell, a young lawyer, occupying rooms and sleeping 
in McCraw and Prestridge's buildings, immediately on the river, 
fronting Water street near the corner of Broad, was taken sick. On 
the 9th, Mr. Fourcard, a little up Broad street; same day, Col. Bun, 
boarder in the Dallas House, Water street ; and two mulattoes attach- 
ed to the same house. On the same day, Mr. Smith, a grocer in Mc 
Craw and Prestridge's buildings ; and Mr. Blevins, one square up 
Broad street. On the 12th, Mr. Fourcard ; on the 13th, Mai. Gee, of 

Testimony of Dr. A. G. Mabry. 100 

the Dallas House ; Drs. Barnum and Blevins, health officers ; Mr. 
Atkinson, exchange broker in C. and P.'s buildings ; Mr. White, 
architect, and boarder in the Dallas House ; with several others. 
These cases all proved incontestably to be cases of 3 r ellow fever. On 
the 14th, Messrs. Mitchell and Blevins died. The citizens now 
became alarmed, and it is supposed that one thousand fled ; which, 
with five hundred absent ; reduced the population proper from three 
thousand, to one thousand five hundred persons. The proportion of 
negroes and mulattoes is about one thousand. Three cases occurred 
respectively on the 6th, 10th, and 13th days, after the frost on the 25th 
of October. 

Haemorrhage from the nose, gums, throat and bowels were of 
frequent occurrence, and in one or two instances there was considera- 
ble bleeding from slight abrasions of the skin. Black vomit occurred 
in perhaps two-thirds of the fatal cases; and in one-third that 

In such cases as recovered ; convalescence commenced about the 
begining of the fourth day ; and death occurred in those that proved 
fatal, between the fourth and eighth day. 

Judging from my own experience, I should say that one out of 
every five of those attacked, died. The disease seemed truly to be 
no respector of persons. We lost some of our best citezens ; and 
most of them robust young men. Several mulattoes were attacked, 
and two or three died ; but no blacks, so far as I am informed, took 
the disease at all. I know of but one case of relapse ; and no one that 
I am aware of who had previously had the disease, was attacked. 

That the disease originated here, is clear enough to my mind; and 
I cannot avoid the conviction that the causes, whatever they may be, 
had their origin, and were developed, by the excavations made on 
Water street, between Green and Lauderdale streets; and on the 
coi-ner of Broad street ; and by the manner in which the earth from 
the excavations was disposed of. If this be not the case, I am totally 
at a loss to account for its origin. 

There was no intercourse between the first persons who were 
seized, and those who afterwards took the disease ; and something 
like a dozen persons were taken on the same day, and of course 
could not have taken it from each other ; and few or none of them 
had been about those who had been previously taken. The slowness 
with which it progressed, and the narrowness of the limits within 
which it was confined, forbid the idea. 

It was remarkable that those who were most with and about the 
sick, none, with scarcely an exception, took the disease ; and, with 
very few exceptions, all who did take the disease were in the habit of 
resorting to that part of Water and Broad streets so frequently 
referred to. There were some few, however, who neither frequented 
that vicinity, or were near any person sick ; and if the cause origina- 
ted there, it must have extended its influence. 

110 Testimony of Henry S. Lever t. 

I had seen cases before brought from Mobile, who were freely 
visited by our citizens, without, in a single instance, having it commu- 
nicated to them. 

Thirty-two deaths occurred from the disease ; the last on the 13th 
of November. 

My experience in the disease was heretofore very limited. 


Mobile, December 22, 1853. 
Prof. E. H. Barton, M. D., New Orleans. 

My Dear Sir: — When I had the pleasure of seeing you in our 
city, I promised to bring to your notice some of the facts concerning 
yellow fever, since my residence in Mobile. That pledge I now pro- 
pose to redeem. 

Whether this disease is of foreign or domestic origin, is a question 
which cannot be satisfactorily answered at this time ; nor is it to be 
presumed that the few facts herein contained will materially aid you 
in its solution. To accomplish this object successfully, a long series 
of carefully made observations, at different times, in various localities, 
and during different epidemics, will be required, before satisfactory 
evidence can be obtained, upon which the profession can rely. 

At present great diversity of opinion exists, whether yellow fever 
is imported into our Southern cities, or has its origin in our midst. 

From the facts which have been forced upon my notice, my mind, 
at least, has been led to the conclusion, that if the causes existing in 
our midst, do not generate the disease they favor its introduction, and 
contribute greatly to its extension. 

One point, I think, is satisfactorily established in connection with 
its appearance in Mobile, upon almost every occasion, viz : That it 
has invariably occurred in those seasons when large excavations have 
been made, or extensive surfaces of fresh earth exposed to the action 
of the sun and air, during the heat of summer ; while, on the contrary, 
our city has been almost as invariably exempt from this scourge in 
those seasons in which no such causes existed. 

In 1825, the old Catholic grave-yard, ■which was situated in the 
middle of the city, was broken up ; the bodies disintered and removed 
to another locality, where they were again buried, during the summer 
season. Yellow lever of a malignant type appeared, and proved fatal 
to a large number of the inhabitants. 

In the winter of 1829 and '30, the authorities of the city of Mobile 
commenced shelling the streets, which work was continued for the 
six succeeding years ; and until almost all, and perhaps all streets 
then opened were paved with shells, which from use soon formed a 
firm and compact road ; dry and clean. About the close of the year 
1836, the shells for paving purposes were abandoned by the city 
authorities, and after that time none were ever used. Durino- the 
period between 1829 and '36, the streets were firm and dry ; requir- 

Testimony of Henry S. Levert. 1 1 1 

ing no grading, no repairing save occasionally a few shells upon 
broken or injured places, and little or no fresh surface was at any 
time exposed. 

The result was we had no yellow fever between 1829 and '36. 
Evidence, though of a negative character, is yet not the less strong. 

After the use of the shells had been abandoned, for a year or two, 
the streets became broken and unfit for use, and it was necessary to 
have them graded and leveled ; the soil being very light and porous, 
these repairs were not durable, consequently they had to be frequently 
repeated, and always in warm and dry weather. 

In addition to this large extent of fresh surface thus exposed, in 
1837 several new streets were opened and graded, and large portions 
of swamp land were filled up in the Northern part of the city during 
the months of July, August and September. Yellow fever became 
epidemic in the month of October of this year. 

In 1841, the disease appeared in the Eastern and Southern parts of 
the city, just at the point where these excavations (grading) were 
commenced, and it lingered in that region for several weeks before it 
extended to other portions of the town ; it, however, finally did pre- 
vail throughout the city. 

In 1843, the same causes existed as in 1841. The excavations 
(grading) were commenced, however, in a directly opposite direction, 
in the Northwestern part of the city, on Hamilton and St. Anthony 
streets. Here too the epidemic first appeared, and to this neighbor- 
hood it was confined for a long time before it extended to other 
localities. I may here observe that this exposure of fresh surface 
was made in both years, '41 and '43, during the months of July, 
August and September. 

The same causes existed in 1839, in which year there was a severe 
epidemic of yellow fever. 

In the spring of 1844, at the request of the Board of Health, the 
authorities of the city of Mobile, prohibited any excavations or grading 
of the streets after the 1st day of July ; this precaution was pretty 
rigidly observed until 1S49 or '50, and during the whole of this interval 
we had no yellow fever, save a slight and mild epidemic in 1847. 

In 1851, there was also a slight epidemic ; but in this year, as well 
as in 1850, the same method of grading the streets was continued, as 
prior to 1843. 

In the present year, 1853, more grading has been done, and more 
extensive excavations have been made in the city, and consequently 
much larger surfaces of fresh earth have been exposed than in any 
one year since 1825, and the epidemic of this year has been more 
general than at any former period. 

It will be observed that in 1841 and 43, the disease appeared in 
those localities where the excavations were first made, and for a long 
time it was confined to the immediate vicinity. In the present year, 
1853, these excavations were made simultaneously in almost every 

112 Testimony of Henry S. Levert. 

part of the city, and were continued throughout the warm weather 
until the disease appeared. 

That this epidemic was of local origin, seems much more than 
probable, from the order and manner of the occurreuce of the first 
fifteen or twenty cases. 

The first case that came under my own observation, occurred on the 
28th of July, in Government street, near the water. 

The second case, on the 30th, on St. Francis and Commerce streets, 
four squares removed from the first. The third case occurred on the 
31st, on the corner of St. Joseph and Bloodgood streets, half a mile 
from the two former cases. The fourth case, on the 5th of August, on 
the corner of New Hampshire and Laurence streets, one mile removed 
from the last case. The fifth case, on the 9 th of August, on Royal street, 
in the heart of the town. The sixth case, on the 12th of August, two 
miles in the country, in a Southern direction ; on the same day there 
were several cases in the Battle House ; on the 14th, a case occurred on 
Stone street, two miles in a Northern direction ; on the same day, a case 
in the Lafayette House, corner of Royal and St. Michael streets ; on the 
15th, a case on St. Francis street, corner of Cedar; and on the 18th, 
there were five or six cases in one house, on the corner of Conception 
and Government streets ; on the 20th, there was a case on Franklin, 
below Government. 

The different points here enumerated, and taken in precise order of 
the occurrence of the cases, are as remote from each other as they well 
could be, within the limits of the city. After the 20th of the month, 
the cases became so frequent as to assume the character of a general 
epidemic, occurring in every street, and almost in every house. 

Another striking example, of the influence of local causes in produc- 
ing yellow fever, is furnished in the history of the disease, as it appeared 
on the Eastern shore of Mobile Bay. Besides the large boarding houses, 
Freeman's and Short's, there is a number of dwellings, inhabited" by fam- 
ilies from the city, ranged at a short distance from each other, along the 
Bay shore. At nearly an equal distance in the rear of these houses runs 
a creek, in which are several " fish ponds." During the present summer 
two of these fish ponds were cleaned out, and one was left undisturbed. 
The consequences we will now proceed to show. 

Freeman's is the first house you approach from the North ; immedi- 
ately behind Freeman's, is the first fish pond on the creek, and is the only 
one that was left undisturbed. In Freeman's family, though it numbered 
including his company, not less than two hundred souls, not one case of 
yellow fever occurred during the whole season, and what renders this 
exemption more striking, is the fact that Dr. North all, from New Orleans 
and Richard Miles, from Mobile, sickened, after their arrival and died 
of black vomit. 

Next below, and adjoining Freomans', are two houses, occupied by 
Messrs. Moreland and Peden, these two families were also exempt from 
the disease. 

Testimony of Dr. N. B. Benedict. ] ] ,°, 

We next come to Short's. This establishment consists of five build- 
ings, four of which are in a line, on the Bay shore, with the houses of 
Freeman, Peden and Moreland. Next to Short's is the residence of Capt. 
Adams ; and, next South, that of Dr. Minge, and still farther South, is 
the residence of James Campbell, as will appear more fully from the 
inclosed diagram. 

In the rear of the last of Short's four houses, of Capt. Adams' resi- 
dence, and also of Dr. Minge's, is the second fish pond on the creek, and 
this was cleaned out in the month of May, and the mud and rubbish 
placed upon its bank, and suffered to remain in that situation through 
the summer. 

The third fish pond is lower down, and nearly in the rear of James 
Campbell's place. This was also cleaned out at the same time ; but 
Campbell took the precaution to cover the mud and rubbish with quick 
lime and guano, as fast as it was removed from the water, for manure. 
The whole of Dr. Minge's family, Capt. Adams' family, and Mr. Voorhies' 
family, who occupied the last, or Southernmost of Short's houses, were 
attacked with yellow fever. No cases occurred in the three other houses 
of Short's, further removed from the influence of this pond. No case 
occurred in James Campbell's family, though it numbered thirty-six. 

A case did terminate fatally in Campbell's family which was contracted 
in Mobile. 

It should be remarked that Short's family residence is some distance 
in the rear, and consequently nearer the creek than the other houses, and. 
a little North of the pond ; and it is further worthy of notice, that the 
land breeze which blows from the East, every night, passes directly over 
this pond to the bay, and would, consequently, pass over these houses 
on its way, and this may account for the small lateral extent to which 
their injurious influence seem to reach. At all events, the facts are as 
we have stated them. Yours, &c, H. S. L. 

Prof. E. H. Barton, M. D., New Orleans. 

Dear Sir : — I have the honor to submit the following account of 
the local origin of yellow fever in September, 1853, in the pine woods, 
in the vicinity of a place of summer resort named " Hollywood " and 
" Freeman's," situated on the Eastern shore of Mobile Bay. My notes 
were written upon the spot, with every precaution to insure accuracy, 
and I was assisted in the investigation by Capt. Geo. H. Kirk, of the 
steamboat " Empress," and his brother, Mr. Robert S. Kirk, of Mobile. 
I will add that Wm. H. Croft and Daniel G. McKenzie were, at the 
last account, still residing on the spot. 

This shore of Mobile Bay presents a beach of clean white sand, and 

a bold bank, rising abruptly to a height of thirty or forty feet. The 

top of the bank is nearly level for a distance of six or seven hundred 

yards back, where a moderate depression, from North to South, re- 


114 Testimony of Dr. N. B. Benedict. 

ceives the waters of several springs, flowing out of the base of higher 
ground beyond the depression, and forming a little brook of remark- 
ably pure water, and of sufficient declivity to supply the bath houses 
and to keep in operation a " water-ram." This purpose is accom- 
plished by throwing across the brooklet a dam of moderate height, 
which is necessarily kept in good repair ; that the supply of water to 
the vast hotel of "Freeman" maybe unfailing; and it also furnishes a 
little reservoir for fish. This table-land between the shore and the 
brooklet is the particular locality called Hollywood, and was originally 
clothed with holly, magnolia, beach, gum and kindred trees of largest 
growth ; a great portion of which are yet standing, except immediately 
about the hotel buildings. Beyond the brooklet the surface of the 
country ascends with a gradual and unvarying acclivity for a distance 
about one mile ; attaining an altitude estimated to be one hundred and 
fifty feet above the level of the waters of the bay. The summit forms 
a well defined, though greatly sloping ridge, having a direction parallel 
with that of the bay shore, and distant from it about one mile and a 
quarter. The whole of this land is covered with a dense primeval for- 
rest of pine trees, extending for many miles along the course of the 
bay shore, and Southeastward forty miles, to Pensacola, Fla. The 
old stage-road from Hollywood to Pensacola, after passing the extreme 
summit of the high land, turned Northward and followed the direction 
of the ridge along its Eastern slope, for about a mile and a half, and 
then bore away to the East, and finally to the Southeast. Along the 
vicinity of this old road are situated some ten or twelve small houses, 
mostly new, of split pine logs, each surrounded with a "clearing," 
little more than sufficient to avoid danger from the fall of adjacent 
trees, and occupied by persons in very moderate circumstances ; many 
of whom live here only during the summer, for the sake of the reputed 
healthfulness of pine woods. The culture of the soil, beyond raising 
a few vegetables, seems generally neglected ; indeed few of the houses 
are even surrounded by an inclosure. They are all, without exception, 
situated upon the East side of the road, and, consequently, at a con- 
siderable lower point than the summit of the ridge, or even of the 
road itself. The present road to Pensacola, after crossing the high 
land, runs almost due Southeast ; so that all public traveling passes 
at a distance of a mile or more to the South of the neighborhood. 

One hundred and thirty yards Southeast of three houses, which are 
presently to be described as the scene of paramount interest; occurs a 
slight depression in the general surface, which receives water during a 
rain ; but dry weather and a porous soil speedily remove the water 
after ordinary showers. At the time of my visit, it was full of water ; 
forming a pond ten or twelve yards in diameter, owing to the extraor- 
dinary rains which had been falling daily for several weeks. About 
three-quarters of a mile East of the old road and the dwellings, occurs 
another brooklet, formed by the waters of a few springs, resembling 
in its direction, and all other respects, the one formerly described. It 

Testimony of Dr. N. B. Benedict. 115 

nowhere forms basins or marshes, and the water, like all found in this 
region, is so pure as to afford no cloudiness on adding nitrate of silver. 
Besides the localities named, there is no other stream or body of water 
anywhere to be found nearer than Fish river, a small stream which is 
eight miles farther East. The soil is the mixture of black sand, red- 
dish clay, and gray sand, in which the Southern long-leafed pine is 
found to flourish. 

To recapitulate : this neighborhood is situated one mile and a quarter 
from the bay ; distant also, from any thoroughfare, and in an elevated 
pine region, which is free from all accumulations of filth or stagnant 
water, or sources for the generation of "miasm." It is, moreover, cut 
off from all influences that might exist at the bay shore by the inter- 
position of the wooded bank, by the dense pine forest which clothes 
the rising ground from base to summit, and by that summit forming a 
ridge about ten feet higher than any of the dwellings themselves. In 
this locality occurred seven unequivocal cases of yellow fever ; and so 
complete was the insulation ; so abundant and perfect the testimony, 
that I embraced the opportunity, as one of the most precious, per- 
haps, that had ever fallen to the lot of a physician, for discovering some 
means to settle the vexed question of the origin of the disease. A 
most careful investigation was undertaken, and continued daily from 
September 17th to the 27th, resulting in the utter failure to trace any 
connection ; immediate or remote ; between these cases and any others, 
or any dependence whatsoever upon those causes which have com- 
monly been supposed to be essential to the origin of the disease. All 
the cases occurred in three of the houses which stood near each other 
in the relative positions of the angles of a rectangular triangle. The 
two houses representing the shorter side of that figure were next the 
road ; the first being occupied by Win, H. Croft. The second, occu- 
pied by Daniel G. McKenzie, was eighty yards due North. The third, 
occupied by H. M. Stevens, was one hundred yards due East from 
McKenzie's ; consequently, a right line drawn from the first to the 
third (i. e., from Croft's to McKenzie's) would have a direction nearly 
Northeast ; a length of about one hundred and twenty-seven yards, 
and would form the longest side, hypothenuse of the triangle. This 
line, continued in the same direction one hundred and twenty yards 
farther, would mark the exact position of a well which was made 
several weeks before, and which was the only new one in the neigh- 
borhood. It was in the house last described that the first three cases 
of yellow fever occurred, and the only cases that were fatal. The 
family consisted of H. M. Stevens ; his mother, Mrs. Frances Stevens ; 
his nephew, Thos. H. Stevens ; a little boy named Michael Elliott, and 
two boarders for the summer, Edmund Howard and wife. 

The first case was that of Michael Elliott, an orphan boy of six 
years ; born in Florida ; of a half-breed Indian and a white woman, 
and brought to this vicinity while an infant. He was a bright little 
fellow, with an eye and complexion resembling the Indian. 

116 Testimony of Dr. N. B. Benedict. 

The passages following, which are marked as quotations, are the 
answers, verbatim, which were given to my inquiries : "He had always 
lived about two miles farther North, in these pine woods, till after his 
mother died, last January. Then he was brought to live with a family 
about a mile East of here. About the end of July, H. M. Stevens 
took hirn home to live with him." This was about six weeks before 
he was taken ill. "He never had an hour's sickness before in his 
life. He never saw anybody sick with any kind of fever. There had 
not been a case of sickness within a mile and a quarter for a year or 
more," and the last death that happened, was in the preceding spring, 
from a gunshot wound. "Michael never saw a city or town, nor was 
ever off this pine ridge in all the four years sinee he was first brought 
here. He was too little to go by himself, and nobody had any occa- 
sion to take him with them." He had been looking dull and sluggish 
for several days, and complaining of headache ; but being a very res- 
olute little fellow, he did not give up till Thursday, September 15th. 
I was not called to him ; but being at the house on Saturday, the 17th, 
I observed him lying on a fragment of blanket in the doorway, with 
excessive heat about the head ; the eyes dingy, injected and suf- 
fused, and the extremities very cold. The family had administered 
calomel on Friday night, and oil on Saturday morning, but with no 
obvious effect. I took upon myself to admonish them to attend to his 
case without delay, as he was evidently very ill ; but they seemed in- 
credulous, or indifferent, and I was not permitted to prescribe. On 
Sunday, the 18th, they requested me to examine him, and advise them 
what to do. I found he had bled at the nose slightly, during the 
night, and the bowels were moved for the first time, while I was 
present. About one o'clock that morning, they had put him into a 
warm bath, and they reported that he had sweated, while in the bath, 
for the first time since his illness, I found all his symptoms worse 
than on the previous day ; the tongue slender as a finger, dry and dark, 
as if blood-stained ; the surface about the forehead, neck and arms a 
little soft, but not moist ; the respiration twenty-eight ; the pulse 
feeble, and ninety-eight; his manner wilful, and impatient of constraint. 
Throughout the day, and following night, his waywardness increased, 
until he became utterly refractory and furious — screaming and strug- 
gling to defeat every attempt to do anything for him, whatever. No 
part of the treatment ordered had been carried out. About day- 
break he threw up genuine black vomit, and passed the same in abun- 
dance, by stool, both before and after death, which happened previously 
to my morning visit, on Monday, September 19th. In my whole ex- 
perience, I have seen no case of yellow fever, where the characteristic 
color, after death, was more perfect, even to the minutest details. 

The next case was that of H. M. Stevens ; a native of South Carolina • 
age 26 years; had resided constantly here for four vears; never was in 
New Orleans; had beefi in Mobile for a short time, maiiv months before 
the sickness there, but never since " He had been ailing or out of sorts, 

Testimony of Dr. N. B. Benedict. 117 

and complaining of headache, for several days." He was seized at one 
o'clock, on the morning of Saturday, the 17th, with a slight yet distinct 
chill, stretching, intense headache, and pain in the loins. Had, by domes- 
tic prescription, mustard pediluvium, mustard to the the loins and feet, 
a large soap enema, and was thoroughly drenched with infusion of capsi- 
cum. On my arrival, after nine o'clock in the morning, he was passing 
great quantities of dark indurated faeces, with severe griping, which was 
succeeded by relief of the head, but not of the loins ; perspiration profuse ; 
complexion naturally very dark ; eyes not injected or suffused ; tongue 
broad, flat, moist, clean ; respiration 19; pulse 86, feeble. The bowels 
moved twice in quick succession, and after an hour had elapsed the skin 
had become dry and cool ; the pulse 80, full, soft, and equable ; respiration 
remarkably intermittent — after three or four regular inspirations, the pro- 
cess would be suspended for ten or fifteen seconds, then resumed as before, 
to be again suspended ; resulting altogether in an average of twelve re- 
spirations in a minute. On the 18th, respiration regular, and 26 ; pulse 
73; had sweated mostly since the previous noon, but the skiu was now 
dry and hot ; eyes injected and a little suffused ; tongue broad, moist, and 
dirty yellow ; no thirst ; no pain in the head or loins ; no epigastric un- 
easiness, but slight tenderness on pressure ; some three hours later, there 
was slight perspiration. On the 19th, the family and the neighbors (who 
were all near relatives of the patient) were found perfectly beside them- 
selves with panic. The little boy, Michael Elliott, was sick in the same 
room, and his disease so obvious that they could not misapprehend its 
nature. His screams had a terrible effect on Stevens, who had seen and 
heard everything, and had once even fainted with terror. I found him 
in a condition like that of a person deaf or unconscious, or with only 
sufficient consciousness to resist whatever might be attempted with him. 
He was tossing about incessantly, and could not be kept covered for one 
moment ; slight moisture about the forehead ; the tongue could be seen 
only by pulling open the mouth, and was thickly coated with very dirty 
paste ; his breath had the peculiar and offensive odor which accompanies 
suppression of urine ; but no one was able to inform me whether he had 
voided urine, or received any attention for twelve hours past. On the 20th, 
I found him pulseless ; the limbs cold to the knees and the elbows ; the 
exposed surfaces veiy dark, not unlike that seen in the last stage of cholera'; 
restlessness excessive ; retching frequent, but no vomiting ; incessant void- 
ing of stools that could not be distinguished from the matter of black 
vomit. He died before the break of day, on the morning of the 21st, 
and immediately became as yellow over the whole upper surface as a ripe 
orange. He had never thrown up black vomit, but voided it to the last. 

The third case was that of Mrs. Frances Stevens ; the mother of H. M. 
Stevens. She was born in South Carolina, in 1791, and had resided here 
constantly for four years. She described herself as " A Methodist, living 
in slavery and sin, and working herself to death." At my first visit to her, 
on Sunday, the 18th, she " had been ailing for four or five days ;" said she 
had that morning " eaten a morsel of salt mackerel, and could taste it yet." 

118 Testimony of Dr. N. B. Benedict. 

She had taken a large dose of some nostrum called " Wright's Indian 
Vegetable Pills," with no obvious effect; vomiting frequently acid mucus 
and bile, to accomplish which she persisted in running out of the house 
each time ; habit constipated, and bowels now torpid ; tongue broad, con- 
vex, tremulous, faintly coated, moist; respiration 21, irregular ; manner 
restless, impatient of questions or control ; headache intolerable ; eyes 
clear; skin a little inclined to moisture; extremeties cold; pulse 102. 
On the 19th, the condition had in nowise improved ; no part of my pre- 
scription had been obeyed ; and nothing remained but to reiterate former 
instructions. On the 20th, a slight attempt having been made to obey 
directions; the symptoms appeared to be somewhat improved. But 
she had been all the while in the same room with the little boy, 
Michael ; her bed touched that of her son — her only one ; and there 
was no hope, that of her being able to survive the horrible spectacle 
of his death. On the 21st, she seemed to have been utterly neglected; 
no bed-pan or other contrivance had been used ; and not a soul could tell 
me even where the medicines left for her on the previous day, had been 
put, or whether she had been offered a drink of water ! The mouth was 
open, and black as if charred ; the tongue thin, pointed, and dry as a 
rasp; the pulse 114, and very feeble. She drank water when I offered 
it, as if maddened with thirst. On the 22d, the extremities were icy 
cold, the nails livid, and the pulse extinct. Her attendants had not dis- 
covered that she had suffered enormous uterine haemorrhage. In utter 
desj)air of accomplishing anything with such neglect, I declined seeing 
her again. These were all the fatal cases. 

The fourth case occurred at the house of Wm, H. Croft, in the person 
of his daughter, Melissa Ann, aged four years, and born here. Began to 
complain on Wednesday, the 14th, about sunset ; had considerable fever, 
which was strictly remittent, and of the tertian type. The only interest 
of the case arose from its coincidence with the others. It was easily 
managed ; carefully nursed ; and resulted in speedy and perfect recovery. 

The fifth case occurred in the second house described — that of Daniel 
G. McKenzie — in the person of his daughter, Araminta Alice, aged 
twelve years ; born in Coffee county, Alabama ; resident, the last four 
years, at this place ; a remarkably fine, healthy, and interesting child. 
Seized furiously at sunset, on Sunday, the 18th, with all the character- 
istic "aches" and other phenomena of the disease. The fever was 
effectually interrupted on the 19th, and never permitted to return. The 
nursing and the final result, the same as in the fourth case. 

The sixth case occurred at the house of Croft, in the person of his 
nephew, Thomas H. Stephens, who, until now, had resided with H. M. 
Stevens, in the house Avhere all the deaths had happened. Born in 
Barbour county, Alabama ; aged, seventeen years ; resident here four 
years ; had never been from home, except to Mobile, in March last, and 
occasionally to the bay shore. Was slightly constipated on the morn- 
ing of the 19th, and took some "patent pills;" but felt perfectly well, 
until after working excessively hard at digging a grave for the little boy, 

Testimony of Dr. N. B. Benedict. 119 

Michael, without allowing- himself time to return to dinner. Seized at 
4 o'clock that evening ; the greatest distress being in the head. I first 
saw him after noon, on the 20th. Skin a little moist; head hot and 
aching; eye clear; tongue broad, moist, slightly pasty ; respiration 28; 
and regular pulse very full — distinct— the stroke instantaneous — the 
average number about 98 — but the most singularly intermittent I ever 
met with. The intermissions, as is common, occurred after every possible 
number of beats, from one to thirteen ; but the time of the intermission, 
instead of being equal to one beat, as I have always observed, bore, in 
this case, no rythmical relation to it, whatsoever. The time of an inter- 
val was always less than the time of one pulsation ; causing continual 
surprises, and great intricacy in reckoning. His case proved to be per- 
fectly tractable, and good nursing secured rapid recovery. 

The seventh and last case was that of a second daughter of Mr. Mc- 
Kenzie, named Frances Jane ; born in Stockton, Ala. ; brought here when 
five weeks old ; present age, four and a half years ; never but once at the 
bay shore, a year or two since, and never in any house in its vicinity. 
Seized on the 20th, after a hearty dinner, and dosed by the family with 
" whiskey and garlic," which was followed by thorough vomiting of all 
the food, and of acid mucus. The case yielded readily to treatment, 
and recovered. 

As to the cause of this outbreak of yellow fever, I frankly acknowledge 
I came away unsatisfied. Three cases had occurred at Hollywood ; the 
first, from New Orleans, seized August 26th, died the 29th ; the second, 
from Mobile, seized September 4th, died on the 7th ; the third, likewise 
from Mobile, seized 10th, died 15th; three days after my arrival there; 
but no intercourse existed between that place and this neighborhood. 
My inquiries were minute, and specially directed to this point. The people 
were remarkable for shyness, and lived secluded and apart from any neigh- 
boring communities, as if they had belonged to a different caste. No 
goods of any description were brought among them from any other place, 
for many months ; and the importation of disease by fomites was an im- 

In view of all the facts detailed, only one kind of investigation re- 
mained, namely : to ascertain in what respect the condition of these people 
differed this year from any former year. In this inquiry, nothing, cer- 
tainly, should be deemed trivial, provided it clearly established between 
this year and others a positive difference ; first, in the habits of the people, 
whether physical, social or moral ; or, second, in the influences to which 
they were exposed, whether terrene or meteorological. But the inquiry 
utterly failed to discover any change in their habits. No new pursuits 
had been adopted, or old ones laid aside. No change had in any respect 
been made in their habitual mode of living, as regarded redundance, de- 
ficiency, or quality of food. No missionaries of any religion, either true 
or false, had raised them to fanaticism, or plunged them into despair ; nor 
had political rancor, or the demon of intemperance excited their passions, 
imbruted their minds, or destroyed their health. They led, in all respects, 

120 Testimony of Dr. N. B. Benedict. 

as they had done for years, secluded, inoffensive, indolent lives, character- 
ized by no suffering, and by no excess. The investigation was, therefore, 
narrowed down to the external influences, to those which are chiefly, if not 
wholly, beyond the control of man. The examination in this direction 
was characterized by the same care as had been observed throughout ; 
not because it was expected to support any theory as to the origin of yel- 
low fever, for I had no such theory ; not because it was expected to lead 
directly to the detection of one of nature's most recondite mysteries, but 
simply because the meteorological and terrene conditions were truly dif- 
ferent from those of ordinary years, and the only conditions discoverable 
that were so. 

It has already been mentioned that the hypothenuse of the triangle 
formed by the three houses invaded by fever, if continued one hundred 
and twenty yards farther, would mark the position of a newly made well. 
This was the only enterprise that had been undertaken for years ; and 
though so ordinary an event as the digging of a well would not com- 
monly be suspected as the cause of a mortal disease ; yet to have passed 
it without notice, would have been unpardonable ; when we remember 
that it was an unusual occurrence, and that it was, moreover, in close 
proximity to the very house in which the disease first appeared, and in 
which alone the cases were fatal. The facts are important as mere coin- 
cidences, independently of all question as to any relation of cause and 
effect. The work was performed by the united industry of the nearest 
neighbors. It consisted of a shaft about sixty feet in depth, and about 
six feet square ; the sides being lined and supported by wooden " curb- 
ing," as is generally practiced where neither stone or brick is procurable. 
The earth penetrated, was near the surface the dark or black sand and 
the reddish sandy clay, commonly found in pine lands ; this various 
colored clay, more or less mixed with gravel or lighter colored sand, to 
a depth of fifty feet or more, where the true water-bearing stratum was 
reached, consisting of quicksand, white as snow, and coarse like broken 
crystals of salt. This was excavated to an additional depth of perhaps 
eight or ten feet, and kept open for the proper reservoir of water, by a 
contrivance called a sand-box. The quantity of earth brought out of 
the well was very great ; exceeding two thousand cubic feet ; and forming, 
around the top of the well, an annular embankment of forty or fifty feet 
in diameter. 

As to the meteorological conditions which prevailed, I am able to speak 
not only from the concurrent testimony of others, but from my own 
experience. No person at Hollywood was provided with apparatus for a 
systematic course of observations. It was, however, the general remark 
of the visitors there, and of the people in the hills, that" it had rained 
daily for about a month previous to my arrival ; which was on the 12th 
of September. The unusual repletion of the small basin, at a short dis- 
tance Southeast of "the three houses," has already been mentioned and 
I may add, that so satu rated was the whole earth of the high pine range, 
that small streams could be seen pouring into the sides of the well at 

Testimony of Dr. N. B. Benedict. 121 

nearly every height above its own reservoir. One person at Hollywood 
said : " It rained for five days and nights, from the 6th of September, to 
the 10th, with scarce any intermission." Another person, who has 
resided in a small dwelling, detached from the Hotel, for many successive 
summers, said : " I never saw such weather. It rained for three weeks, 
at least. We had always occupied the same cabin, and found it dry and 
comfortable. In a few hours the sun would make all dry again, after 
any hard rain. But this year it has never been dry. We have lost a 
great deal of clothing by mildew. A carpet-bag, in which we deposited 
soiled linen, was spoiled, with all its contents, by this cause, in two or 
three days. Clothes hanging in the driest room, would soon lose all 
their stiffness, as if they had not been starched." Another person, now 
in this city, referred to the injury of clothing from dampness and mil- 
dew ; and said his family, during the coming summer, would exchange 
the " cabin," for rooms in the Hotel, expressly to avoid the dampness 
of their old home. He says : " The rainy weather in August continued 
for several weeks ; in general, the quantities which fell, at any one time, 
were not excessive ; but showers were frequent, as if the atmosphere was 
surcharged, and was compelled to part with the overplus." The same 
gentleman testifies that he had observed in New Orleans a great contrast 
between the temperature of sunshine and of shade, and between that of 
day and of night ; that when the days were hottest in the city, he required 
covering for his bed at night ; but that having occasion to compare the 
two places, he found the nights at Hollywood, during the rainy weather, 
excessively sultry. As the rains abated, the same contrast of sun and 
shade temperatures, so noticeable in New Orleans, became equally so at 
that place. Having a great deal of idle time, he and his frends were in 
the frequent practice of amusing themselves with cards, in the large open 
hall of the Hotel. " In the very hottest part of the day, they had often 
shifted the position of their table in consequence of the unaccountable 
chilliness." His friends, as well as himself, had "remarked the strangeness 
of the occurrence ; for it happened when there was not a breath of wind 
perceptible. It was a very strange year. I never could understand it." 

Of the temperature from September 12th to the 27th — I speak from 
personal knowledge — not one drop of rain fell in that vicinity during 
my stay. Until the 19th, the days were almost constantly cloudless, 
The winds were very frequent, and exceedingly light, varying to 
every point of the compass, but mostly Easterly or Northerly. The 
heat in the sunshine was insupportable — requiring the constant use of 
an umbrella; but the coolness of shade was invariably unpleasant. In 
many of the rooms, fires were lighted at night, and very few persons 
could dispense with a blanket to the bed. On the 19th, the North wind 
began, and the temperature became suddenly very cold, continuing so 
until my departure. 

I have already said that I came away unsatisfied as to the cause of 
the outbreak of yellow fever in the locality under consideration But 
since that time, other circumstances have occurred which have directed 

122 Testimony of Dr. N. B. Benedict. 

my attention, in an especial manner, to a cause assigned by yourself at a 
meeting of the New Orleans Academy of Sciences, June bth, lH5d. 
For a long time I gave little attention to the matter, because 1 mis- 
conceived your meaning. My impression was, that you attributed the 
origin of yellow fever solely to extensive disturbances of the earth, and 
to filth. I know that such is also the general misconception. Ihe 
naked proposition of the terrene origin of the disease, I daily hear 
denounced as yours, and as erroneous. But I cannot censure this 
absurd mistake of others, while I reflect that I failed to discover it 
myself until a few weeks since ; though all the while the records of 
the Academy, in my possession, conlained the explicit enunciation of 
the two-fold nature of that cause, in your very words. You have very 
aptly denominated the cause, " The Shears of Fate;" as indicating its 
essentially duplex nature; for, like a shears, it consists of two separate 
things, which must coincide, and it is wholly inoperative if either of 
the two blades is wanting. One of these blades being terrene filth, 
from any and every cause ; the other blade being a peculiar kind of 
weather, which must prevail in order to render the first noxious. The 
proposition, thus defined, seems obvious enough ; but I have yet to 
meet with the first objector who has taken into account the meteoro- 
logical condition, while condemning a theory of which he has compre- 
hended exactly one-half, and no more. The circumstances which 
have specially directed my attention to that two-fold cause are the 

1st. — I learned from Dr. Levert, of Mobile, that every epidemic of 
yellow fever in the city during twenty-eight years past, has been imme- 
diately preceded by great excavations, or by extensive surface ex- 
posure of fresh earth to the action of the sun and rains during the heat 
of summer; insomuch that he had of late years, vainly warned the 
council of that city of the great hazard of yellow fever which they 
incurred by permitting such works as the opening and grading of 
streets in summer. He had even offered to go so far as to give bonds 
in an enormous amount, to guarantee the city against an epidemic, on 
the bare condition of being empowered to put a stop to such works at 
such seasons. 

2d. — In Wilkinson county, Mississippi, I learned from the attending 
physician, that the first and the most virulent cases in the Western 
part of the county, last autumn, occurred in the house of Joshua Pres- 
ler; the insulation of which (on account both of physical and social 
causes) is extraordinary ; that long rains had occasioned a landslide, 
of several acres of earth, within a few yards of the house, and the 
weather, subsequently, was similar to that described at Hollywood. 

3. — From a gentleman of intelligence,* whose own wife was the first 
victim of yellow fever, near Gainesville, Miss., in October last, I learned 
that there had been no intercourse with the village for several weeks, nor 

* Mr. Lewis Folaom, 

Testimony of Dr. N. B. Benedict. 123 

had there been a case of sickness of any kind in all the vicinity. His 
house is in a dense pine forest ; distant more than half a mile from any 
other'dwelling ; and no cause of sickness existed, that he could suspect. 
Her seizure had all the marks of the disease ; she had black vomit many 
hours before death ; and the surface changed to the characteristic orange 
color, immediately after. In answer to my inquiries, he said : " all the 
fruit had been destroyed by premature decay, and many cows died sud- 
denly, in great distress, from no cause that was apparent. The winds 
were remarkable only for being exceedingly light and variable ; the days 
very hot ; the nights excessively cold ; and the difference of the heat in 
the sunshine and shade such, that he had frequently ridden under a tree 
to avoid the intolerable heat, and presently been compelled to quit the 
shade for fear of taking a chill." The extremity of a hill, at a distance 
of one hundred and fifty yards from his house, had been cut down to 
make room for the road, damaged by rains. A small ditch, one hundred 
yards in length, had been dug in front of the house ; and at the distance 
of ten feet from the corner, he had cleaned out a well ; the deposit in 
which was clear white sand, but very sticky, and intolerably offensive to 
the smell. 

4. — Before the epidemic of last year, there were in progress in and 
around this city, three railroads ; a vast basin, and the enlargement of the 
old Canal Carondelet ; besides a condition of the streets, the offensiveness of 
which, was unprecedented. Within one month, rain fell to a depth of 
over eleven inches ; and the peculiarity of the temperature was a subject 
of daily remark. One fact may suffice : while driving down Royal 
street, with Mr. W. W. Carre, a few minutes before noon, the full rays 
of a July sun being nearly perpendicular, we were compelled to lower 
the top of the carriage in consequence of the extraordinary coldness. 
The sensation was exactly similar to that of the cold stage. of intermit- 
tent fever, and no wind was perceptible to account for it. Before 
proceeding the distance of two squares, we were obliged to raise the 
carriage-top again, to avoid the intolerable heat; and the discomfort 
caused by either condition was so great, that the whole proceeding was 
actually twice repeated before we reached the Pontchartrain Railroad. 

In view of this most striking fact ; that the insulated spontaneous cases 
which occurred at Hollywood, and in Wilkinson and Hancock counties, 
Miss., were all coincident with the two phenomena — the terrene and mete- 
orological ; that the utter impossibility of contagion from other causes, or 
fomites is abundantly proved ; and that we are unable to discover or 
to conjecture any other cause, we are compelled to conclude that there is 
strong reason to suspect the agency of this two-fold condition, in the 
production of yellow fever. This conclusion is avowed in no spirit of 
a partizan ; and I shall protest against being identified with any hypothe- 
sis, until careful observation of the phenomena, in all times and places, 
shall establish their uniform concurrence : — until actual experiment shall 
demonstrate that the destroying of one of the " blades," invariably averts 
the disease ; and shall prove the theory to be true. 

124 Testimony of Dr. Wedderbum. 

The mere coincidence of such facts with such a terrible visitation, 
ought to command the attention of all men — the merchant, the political 
economist, the statesman, not less than the philanthropist and physician. 
If the true nature of the " Shears of Fate," is discovered, its interest to 
us is infinite. If these conjectures are false, it will be an easy task to 
refute them ; but whether true or false, the refusal or neglect to investi- 
gate such remarkable "coincidence," would be, not criminal only, but 
monstrous. Yours, <fec, N. B. B. 

New Orleans, July 1st, 1854. 



Dr. "W. states that his first case this year, was at the corner of Dry- 
ades street and Triton Walk, on the 5th of June. Saw four or five 
cases in the same house one month afterwards. The first case was 
an Englishman, who had been in this country one year. Four broth- 
ers, his mother and sister lived with him. Does not know if the man 
had any intercourse with shipping. Has no knowledge of the disease 
having been introduced here. 

Pensacola, Florida. — In 1847, the disease was introduced into the 
Pensacola Navy Yard. The Dr. thinks he took the disease from a 
man by the name of Heath. He came from New Orleans, where the 
fever was raging. The man who nursed him had the fever ; then the 
physician, who attended him ; then all the members of his family were 
attacked, and the disease spread from house to house, in regular suc- 
cession, commencing with the one occupied by Heath. In 1839, a 
person came from New Orleans, with fever. The disease did not 
spread from him. In 1841, the U. S. ship Levant came in from the 
West India Islands, where yellow fever prevailed. The sailors who 
were sick with fever were landed and placed under a shed, on shore. 
On their way to the hospital, they passed the marine barracks. A 
negro woman, who lived near the shed used by them, was first at- 
tacked by yellow fever ; then the marines, who lived in the barracks ; 
on the route of the sailors, on their way to the hospital; and then the 
disease spread regularly. The first time the disease was introduced 
into Pensacola, the marines entirely escaped ; because they were not 
exposed, as was the case when the sick sailors were passing their quar- 
ters. Has not observed any peculiar smell in yellow fever patients. 

Thinks the disease communicable, as other contagious diseases are 
communicable, by clothing, touch, &c, &c. The Dr. has had yellow 
fever three times. Thinks a certain condition of the atmosphere ne- 
cessary to produce an epidemic. Never has seen the disease at sea. 
Doubts if a quarantine sufficiently strict to be effectual could be en- 
forced here. Thinks yellow fever never originates here. 

Testimony of Dr. Isaac Hulse and John Henry Brown. 125 


Localities where he has become acquainted with yellow fever : 

In Baltimore, in 1822, while a student. 

The fever of the West coast of Africa, 1824, on board the Grampus. 

In Gosport Navy Yard and Barracks, 1825. 

In Pensacola, and Navy Yard, Pensacola, 182*7. 

In Pensacola Navy Yard and Hospital, in 1828. 

In Port au Prince, (St. Domingo,) on shore, and on board the S. S. 
Erie, 1831. 

At Naval Hospital, Pensacola, 1834. 

On board the Home Squadron, at Pensacola, and in the city of Pen 
sacola, in 1839. 

At Naval Hospital, Pensacola, yellow fever of the Levant, and French 
frigate Gomer, 1841. 

Fever of brig Dunois ; crew at the Naval Hospital, 1842. 

Saw the malignant intermittent, at the Naval Hospital, 1843 and '44. 

Yellow fever at Naval Hospital, brought in by U. S. frigate Mississippi, 
and other vessels, from Vera Cruz, 1847 and '48. 

At Pensacola Navy Yard, and the villages in its neighborhood, 1853. 

Does not think that he has seen an instance where the disease has been 
propagated by contagion. Has treated, perhaps, one thousand cases. 

Has recognized in the late epidemic the genuine yellow fever, with a 
greater degree of virulence than he has ever before witnessed. 

The usual proportion of black vomit one in ten ; black stools, equivalent 
to black vomit, were frequently seen without black vomit. Black stools 
occurred among children, who died of convulsions in the early part of the 
season. I refer to cases in the villages, in the early part of the epidemic. 



Indianola fronts four miles on Matagorda Bay, and one mile deep ; town 
proper, one and one-half by one-half miles. 

Surface of soil — shell, more or less decomposed, and sand. 

Water used — about half is cistern ; the balance shallow well water, 
found at from three to five feet, in shells and sand. 

Some small ponds filled up, amounting to little. 

No rivers nearer than from fifteen to forty miles ; small salt marshes 
near ; nothing objectionable. 

All waters flow with the tide. 

The first case was landed from a New Orleans steamer, about the 20th 
August; the next six cases, also from August 24th to Sept. 10th. 

There had been at least six or eight cases landed from New Orleans 
before a case originated here. There had been but two deaths in the 
place for nine months previously. 

All these cases were from New Orleans. There is no doubt that some 

126 Testimony of R. H. McNair and Dr. Wm. Humboldt. 

cases are believed to have arisen from the handling of goods, clothing, 
and from direct intercourse with other cases of the disease. 

Not here, but at Salina, fifteen miles below, several cases occurring, 
apparently of that kind ; but they had been among our citizens, and fled 
there from the epidemic ; and were twice a week within four hundred 
yards of the New Orleans steamers. 

It is easily traced from one to another and family to family ; and the 
first cases followed the winds, i. e., Southeast winds. At first it prevailed 
among the lower classes, or those exposed by intemperance or night air, 
but in time reached the best unacclimated persons. Old citizens, of 
five or six years, suffered comparatively little. 


Arrived in Galveston on the 9th of July, in the steamer of that date. 

The steamship Mexico arrived at Galveston on the 9th, from New 
Orleans, and three sick persons ; steerage passengers ; were taken from 
her and sent to the hospital. No fever was known to exist, previous to 
her arrival. 

On the 22d of August, two weeks after, the hospital physician was 
taken sick. The case was pronounced yellow fever by the physicians. 

On the 28th of August, a clerk on the strand was taken, and it was 
also pronounced yellow fever. This person had no communication with 
the sick, nor had he received any goods from New Orleans. 

On the 3d of September, other cases occurred, three blocks distant. 
No intercourse took place between these parties. 

The weather was similar to that of 1852, but more calm; the atmos- 
phere was dry. 

The buildings are generally clean and well ventilated. 

Fevers in acclimated persons, were of the intermittent and remittent 
form, whilst in the unacclimated, the usual symptoms of yellow fever 

Mrs. Hunt, the wife of an officer of the army, died with black vomit ; 
she was nursed by her husband, who was unacclimated ; he did not take 
the disease. 



Dr. Wm. Humboldt, from Mexico, states that yellow fever, up to this 
period, has never been known to prevail in Mexico at a greater dis- 
tance from cities than thirty miles, even though carried thither. 

It was found this year two hundred and seventy miles from Aca- 
pulco. It was brought from Acapulco, and spread to the extent of two 
hundred cases Considers it endemic in Vera Cruz ; originating spon- 
taneously. Many Germans died there in January, 1853. It was carried 

Testimony of Dr. Wm. Humboldt. 12*7 

to Acapulco in a vessel from Guayaquil ; during her voyage the fever 
made its appearance on board. There was no fever at Guayaquil when 
the vessel left there. She was ballasted with sand and mud, taken from 
the bank of a river. Fifty or sixty cases occurred in Acapulco, from 
which place it was carried to Chipazingo, Equador and Tpitslan. Never 
knew a case in Nuervacla, (a large river intervenes between the last 
named place and the former three,) although it is in the same valley, 
and there is constant communication across the river. In the small towns 
yellow fever was also found. Yellow fever is more fatal among the 
Indians than the whites. It also occurred on plantations. Never 
knew this to happen before. Has lived nine years in Mexico. Thinks 
the disease may spread from person to person during an epidemic con- 
dition of the atmosphere. It is not thought to be contagious in Vera 
Cruz. Has noticed a peculiar smell in yellow fever. Has seen hut 
one case of recovery from black vomit, and that in the person of his 
own wife. Different forms of fever prevail in different years. This 
year it was typhoid. Ten per cent, of the Mexican soldiers died. 
Death generally occurs in from five to ten days. In the country the 
disease is considered contagious. 

Extract from a Communication addressed to the Sanitary Commission. 



Last year Vera Cruz was for six months the seat of two epidemics — 
the cholera and the yellow fever — and they made great ravages in that 
city and the environs. I was at Vera Cruz, sent by the Government to 
observe the course of these epidemics, and to ascertain the causes of 
of them, and at the same time to make a comparison between the two 
diseases as epidemics. The Military Hospital of the city was placed at 
my disposition. Perhaps it may interest the members of the Sanitary 
Commission to see the results of my observations ; and I will therefore 
here copy the scientific part of the report I made to the Mexican Gov- 

It results from the observations and examinations made by me, that 
the yellow fever, as an epidemic, differs from the cholera in two impor- 
tant circumstances. 

First, because it is confined within a certain zone; and, secondly, 
attacks in preference those who have lately arrived in this zone, or 
near its limits; while the cholera extends from continent to continent, 
ravaging nations in all climates, without elevation, or temperature, or 
the keenest cold, having any effect upon it. The domain of the yellow 
fever is strictly limited to those parts of the equatorial and tropical 
regions, in which, for several weeks together, an unvarying tempera- 
ture prevails, without being very high; that is to say, where the ther- 
mometer ranges at from 76° to 86° Fahrenheit, (24-30 Centregrade ;) 
and does not vary more than from 5 to 10 degrees, between night and 
day. Hence, it follows, that the Antilles, certain parts of the two 

128 Testimony of Dr. Wm. Humboldt. 

Americas, the Coast of Africa, and the South of Spain, are the ordi- 
nary seats of these epidemics. 

The second sign which distinguishes the cholera from the yellow 
fever,* i9 that while the cholera, without any regard for acclimation, 
attacks both natives and new-comers, the yellow fever generally alto- 
gether spares acclimated Creoles who are born within the sphere of its 
action. The whole history of the yellow fever shows, that those who are 
the most subject to it, are those who have lately arrived within its sphere, 
particularly inhabitants of Northern climates, who are so much the 
more liable to it, the higher the degree of North lat tude from which 
they come, and the shorter the time of their passing from the regions 
of Europe, or from the elevated regions of the interior to the equi- 
noctial regions or to the coast. As a proof of this, we have observed 
in Vera Cruz, that the yellow fever broke out shortly after the arrival 
of troops from the interior, at each place, and in all the barracks; and, 
for all that, individuals born on the coast and acclimated, were spared 
from this disease. People of color, so numerous at Vera Cruz, and 
in necessary communication with the troops and all strangers, were 
completely exempt from it. How was that so ? Let the small-pox, or 
any other really contagious disease, be imported, and the sufferings of 
these individuals would perhaps exceed those of strangers. In the 
interior of the republic, thej' are as subject to typhus and dysentery as 
others. It is only the yellow fever that spares them ; and how is that 
to be explained, except by the evident fact that the disease is an accli- 
mating fever, of a malignant nature, the product of a high temperature 
and an insalubrious locality, and, so to say, peculiar to Europeans and 
inhabitants from elevated regions. Tn high latitudes, cold, fatigue, 
trouble and hunger, pushed to excess, engender fever everywhere; but 
each region, each climate, will present that class of fever which is 
peculiar to it. At Mexico, for example, it is typhus ; to the South of 
Mexico, Guadalajara, Colima, Tehuantepec, &c, remittent fever ; on 
the coast of the (*ulf of Mexico, yellow fever; confined to certain 
conditions of locality, temperature and elevation, it is a veritable hot 
climate epidemic, which cannot be transferred to any other soil. It is 
places, not persons, which determines the rule of its existence. 

While the yellow fever thus differs from the cholera, by some circum- 
stances which have the greatest influence over the extent of its course, 
observers agree in recognizing that there are two conditions of striking 
resemblance between the two diseases. The first has reference to the con- 
dition of the blood. In the cholera, according to the general opinion, a 
peculiar poison penetrates into the blood ; this vital fluid is consequently 
decomposed, and a fatal emission of its serous or watery particles is pro- 
duced. In the yellow fever, also, it appears that the blood is poisoned 
and decomposed ; but in this disease it is the more solid particles, and 
particularly the red ones, which are thrown out from the system. In the 

* N. B. — I here speak of the yellow fever in its greatest intensity and seriousness. 

Testimony of Dr. Wm. Humboldt. 129 

yellow fever, the combination of the blood Is as much broken up as be- 
fore death; vitality is as much destroyed as they would be by the intro- 
duction of the venom of a serpent. It may with truth be said that the 
blood is killed by the poison ; and, according to the expression of John 
Hunter, that the yelkw fever which terminates fatally, is the death of the 
blood. It escapes in a torrent from the mucus surface of the stomach in 
the form of black vomit ; it discharges by the gums, the nostrils, the 
eyes, by the skin itself, and everywhere in short; and after death, the 
blood has evidently lost every characteristic of its nature and of its com- 
position, since it is found in vessels like the lees of port wine or coffee 

The second point of resembla.nce is the analogous condition of the brain 
in most of the cases. In cholera, the clearness of the intellect, and the 
calmness of the mind, up to the last moment of life, present a striking- 
contrast to the stupefaction, the dullness of the intellect, the delirium, 
and finally the insensibility of typhus: the functions of the brain are gen- 
erally preserved as perfect in yellow fever as in cholera. 

Another point of resemblance between the yellow fever and the cholera, 
is the slightness of the apparent cause which determines and often leads to 
a mortal attack. Yellow fever, like cholera, breaks out in places in which 
there was no ground for supposing that it is of foreign origin, in which 
the strictest investigation cannot succeed in tracing it to an infected 
source, and in which all communication with infected persons or objects 
is often impossible. Let us take for example one 'of the most recent of 
such cases, the breaking out of the yellow fever at Acapulco and Yguala, 
in the year, 1853, in the month of April, a region in which it had never 
appeared before ; and while, if the disease is susceptible of importation as 
an epidemic, it may have been constantly conveyed thither by the vessels 
trafficing with Guayaquil. At Acapulco the yellow fever broke out on 
board a vessel called the San Carlos, which came frorn the river San Salva- 
dor, in Costa Rica, ballasted with mud, as is customary in those parts. The 
discharge of the ballast was commenced when it was perceived, from the 
offensive odour it emitted, that the mud, which probably contained much 
vegetable and animal substance, had entered into a state of putrefaction. 
On the same day, the mate, the second mate, and two sailors fell ill with 
the yellow fever. Before taking them to the hospital, there had already 
been two cases in the town, both fatal. Here all communication with 
the sick on board was suspended, since it was Sunday, when only the 
necessary guard was on board; and nevertheless the epidemic continued 
its ravages on shore. Three days afterwards, there were more than twen- 
ty-five cases of yellow fever in the town. 

The yellow fever, like the cholera, breaks out simultaneously in different 
towns far distant from each other, and at different points distant from the 
towns, am. mg people who have had no communication with the sick. 
For example, when the epidemic of the yellow fever broke out at Acapul- 
co, there were three days afterwards cases of this epidemic at. a distance 
in a straight line, of fifty-six leagues, (at Yguala,) without there having 

130 Testimony of Dr. Wrn. Humboldt. 

been possibility of any traveler's arriving there, passing over such a dis- 
tance in three days, since the bad condition of the roads prevents the 

In the yellow fever, as in cholera, it appears that there is a gradual and 
local development of the disease, and the breaking out of the disease is 
preceded by individual or sporadic cases, in greater or less number. 

In the yellow fever, as in cholera, if the disease breaks out in the midst 
of a family, it attacks only two or three members ; the rest escape it, 
even those who give constant attention to the sick ; and when, as some- 
times happens, many individuals of the same family are attacked, it is 
found on examination, either that the disease is general in the locality 
which the family inhabits, or that the individuals attacked had been in 
a locality in which the disease prevailed. The numerous examples of two 
or three persons or more being attacked in the same house, at the same 
time, and in the same hour, and that general susceptibility which pervades 
all ranks, make it appear, not thatjthe disease has the property of spread- 
ing from one person to another, but rather that it is the product of a 
general cause, to the influence of which they have been simultaneously 

In the yellow fever, as in cholera, the disease, instead of spreading from 
house to house, in the district or locality which it invests, is often confined 
in quite a remarkable manner, to certain houses in the same street ; to 
certain houses on the same side of the street; and even to certain rooms 
of the same house. This latter assertion I saw verified at Vera Cruz, 
where, in the great barracks of the Southern port, the apartments, the 
windows of which faced the Southwest, furnished a much larger number 
of cases than those, the windows of which faced the sea. 

One would naturally be led to believe that there, where a focus of in- 
fection existed, in a hospital containing all the sick, could not be found a 
place of safety ; it, nevertheless, is that which, in all probability, offers 
more of it than is supposed. Physicians are never seen to suffer there 
from the disease, more than in the just proportion of their numbers ; and 
unacclimated servants, more immediately in communication with the 
sick, the orderlies, and others, if the ventilation and the discipline are 
good, generally suffer less than the soldiers of the barracks, who never 
come into proximity ; for while they are in service at the hospital, they 
are not exposed either to the heat of the sun, to night exposure, nor to 
drunken excesses. It is a fact which I observed in the military and civil 
hospital, at Vera Cruz, and it is a fact, too, that the supposed contagion 
never communicated itself to the patients in the surgical department, or 
to the convalescent ; although they occupied contiguous beds in the same 
hospital. My uncle, the Baron de Humboldt, in his political essay on the 
kingdom of New Spain, vol. iv, p. 1*71, makes the following remarks: 

" It is incontestible that the vomito is not contagious at Vera Cruz. 
In most countries the common people consider many diseases contagious, 
which do not possess this character ; but public opinion in Mexico 
has never interdicted the unacclimated foreigner from approaching 

Testimony of Dr. Wm. Humboldt. 131 

the bed of individuals attacked with the vomito. Not a single fact 
can be cited which establishes the probability that immediate contact, 
or the breath of the dying, are dangerous for those who, not being 
acclimated, take care of. the sick. On the continent of Equinoctial 
America, the yellow fever is no more contagious than the intermit- 
tent fevers of Europe." 

Contagion or Non-Contagion may be resumed in the following man- 
ner: It is a terrestrial poison, engendered in new comers by a high 
state of atmospheric heat, and which cannot exist without this heat ; 
but it affects nobody through vicinity to the sick, and cannot be trans- 
ported in pure atmospheres. 

The attacks of yellow fever, like those of cholera, take place prin- 
cipally during the night, as I had occasion to observe in the barracks at 
Vera Cruz. Another point of resemblance between these two diseases, 
and epidemic diseases in general, is that the epidemic poison, whatever 
it may be, affects the lower animals as well as man. The yellow fever, 
like the cholera, is not subject to any rule of gradual progression, or of 
proportional severity, but decimates certain localities, while it spares, 
or only slightly affects others closely adjacent. For example, in the 
epidemic of the yellow fever in the state of Guerrero, in Mexico, we 
observed that Tyxtla and Iguala it made numerous victims, while at 
Cuernavaca, situate between the two towns, there was not a single case. 

The influence of humidity in hastening the progress of cholera is 
generally admitted ; the proof is quite as complete as to the equally 
powerful effect of this influence in localizing the yellow fever; partic- 
ularly of that humidity which rises from the foul sea shores. The 
slime and mud of rivers, canals, ponds, road-ditches, and those about 
garrisons ; the mud and mire of unpaved streets, lanes and alleys, and 
yards of cities and towns; and the drainages and percolations from 
sewers and cesspools are frequent causes of humidity in small, low 
houses. But the strongest cause is undoubtedly the proximity of 
marshes ; and as at Vera Cruz this is a cause which prevails all the 
year, this is why the malignant character of this disease develops it- 
self in the manner we daily see it. 

We have still to make some researches on the following question : 
'' Does the yellow fever differ from the marsh or remittent fever of hot 
countries, (endemic at Acapulco,) or is it the same fever under a more 
aggravated form ? 

I am of the opinion that in all countries which can engender fever 
the yellow fever is its most concentrated form; I believe it intimately 
allied in its nature and in its causes to ordinary fevers, especially on 
the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico, whether the type of those fevers is 
remittent as on the shore of Yucatan, or continuous as at Vera Cruz 
and Acapulco. 

I do not believe it more peculiar or less indigenous to the latitudes in 
which it commonly appears, than the common continuous fever is at 

132 Testimony of Dr. Wm. Htimholdt. 

The form of yellow fever, or that which is accompanied by black vomit, 
a form taken as the only true type of the disease, acquires this preemi- 
nence over the ordinary fevers of hot countries, through the presence of 
unacclimated persons, who are attacked with it»with a frequency so much 
the greater, as their sojourn there has been the shorter. In the absence 
of these last subjects, we might, with perfect safety, defy those who main- 
tain that the yellow fever is a distinct disease, to produce any considera- 
ble number of cases, offering the peculiar group of symptoms, and the 
kind of issue, which, according to them, suffice to distinguish it from the 
ordinary fevers of the country, and to designate it as an essential and 
separate disease. 

It happens at Vera Cruz, the same as in Europe, and often at the same 
season of the year, that unhealthy or epidemic seasons envelop the entire 
population, and then a special and peculiar form of the disease is shown 
with the greatest certainty by the new comer ; but it is very certain that 
ordinary or healthy seasons for the natives, are the contrary for this new 
comer ; his constitutional susceptibility appearing to compensate for the 
want of force in the cause, and consequently many peculiar and irregular 
irruptions of the disease are confined to this category of subjects. 

It is natural that we are forcibly led to one or the other of these two 
conclusions : 1st, either that the susceptibility of the foreigner furnishes 
a greater activity to the causes which produce among natives a very mit- 
igated disease; 2d, or that for some end which it is impossible for us to 
ascertain, he is alone chosen as a victim of a disease depending on causes 
which differ not only specifically from those Avhich affect the native, but 
which are as variable as their migrations. Could it be possible that the 
black population of the coast of Vera Cruz, and even the majority of people 
of color, who suffer from putroadynamic fevers, and all other diseases 
which assail the white race, should not present, under any form, a disease 
indigenous to their country? To say that they have it in their youth, in 
a much more benignant form, is to throw one's self back on the ordinaiy 
fevers of the country, and to abandon the sole diagnostic, the black vomit, 
by which a line of demarcation can be drawn ; it is to admit, in fact, 
that benignant continuous or remittent fevers are the forms tinder which 
the natives present the yellow fever. 

The colored population, and acclimated Europeans, rarely present the 
disease in its intense form, under which it attacks the new comer ; they 
ordinarily only suffer from remittent and intermittent fever, and are some- 
times altogether exempt, while the foreigner is the solitary victim of the 
yellow fever ; — a fact full of instruction, if the blindness of theory per- 
mitted us to make the application of it. Nothing, 1 am convinced, can 
explain this anomaly, except the greater susceptibility of the foreigner to 
the noxious influence of a climate to which others are assimilated ; the 
opportuno arrival of the contagion, at the period when it is known he is 
most subject to the mortal effects of this climate, being an idea too im- 
probable to allow its being entertained. 

We appear to have chosen in preference the disease of the foreigner, 

Testimony of Dr. Wm. Humboldt. 133 

who, however is, of all individuals, the least fit to represent the diseases 
of a country, as well in the character or the degree of their symptoms, 
as in their pathological conditions. We should not consider as at all a 
faithful representation of the diseases of Europe and of their fatality, the 
results which should follow the exposure of individuals born within the 
tropics, to the cold and vicissitudes of the North ; why, then, should we 
take our distinctive mark, our point of departure in diagnosis, not from 
essential traits of the disease, as it presents itself among individuals born 
in the tropics where that disease prevails, but from a fortuitous symptom, 
the exudation of decomposed blood in the stomach, a symptom scarcely 
known under an epidemic form, except among foreigners. It must not 
be believed- that there is one cause of disease in the foreigner, and another 
for the native; they suffer very intelligible modifications of the same 

We constantly see cases of ordinary endemic fevers, whether bilious, 
remittent, or continuous, prevail simultaneously with the yellow fever, in 
greater or less number, and present even the appearance of mortal symp- 
toms, as passive haemorrhages : it is always difficult, and sometimes impos- 
sible to distinguish, during half and sometimes three-fifths of their course, 
that is during their phase of excitation, the cases which terminate thus, 
from many of the cases of ordinary fevers. 

There is a great analogy between the important symptoms of yellow 
fever and those of the malignant remittent ; collectively these fevers dif- 
fer by the more persistent and more intense character of the symptoms 
in the former ; but it is principally, and sometimes only by the presence of 
black vomit among the last symptoms of yellow fever, that they are dis- 
tinguished one from the other, a contingency, or to make use of a happier 
expression, " accident d'une saison" which, according to my view, is not at 
all essential or sufficient to separate these diseases as radically unlike ; ce- 
rebro-gastric affection, a more or less intense yellow suffusion, irritability 
of the stomach, suppression of urine, haemorrhage accompanied by de- 
jections and vomitings of a more or less dark color, proclaim, in my opin- 
ion, that the malignant remittent fever is very closely allied to the yellow 
fever, and that it is, like it, the highest degree. This degree, for the rest, 
is dependent on the circumstances of locality, those of the subject, and 
the violence of the cause ; modifications and concurrent differences being 
able, as in all fevers, to produce infinite alterations of • form- 
In prolonged cases of recognized epidemic yellow fever, marked remis- 
sions have frequently been observed. Without maintaining that the yel- 
low fever belongs to a remittent type, it may be inferred that it often is 
so, and that if the remissions are not apparent, it is to the violence and 
to the rapidity of the course of the disease it must be attributed. 

I believe that the yellow fever has no specific character or pathogno- 
monic symptoms, which can be defined in its course, in its duration, or 
in its attributes; but that it is an accidental variety of a numerous and 
variable class of the continuous and remittent fevers of certain latitudes; 
fevers from which it differs, only by its violence, the rapidity of its course, 

134 Testimony of Thomas J. Dirgan. 

and its final phenomena. Its apparent causes, the principal and essential 
symptoms, and its pathological conditions, as also the periods of its in- 
ception, of its greatest development and of its decline, all proclaim, that 
it is like those other fevers, a variety of the same kind, that cannot, with 
exactitude, or with the view of reconciling the facts in contradiction in 
the history of the tropics, be subdivided for any essential or appreciable 
difference, in their multiform varieties, notwithstanding the practical util- 
ity that might be the result. 

u Does the yellow fever, like the small pox, exempt from a second at- 
tach, except in rare examples ? 

I believe that an attack of yellow fever, like a certain length of 
residence, gives much security against a second attack of the same form, 
or of the form which terminates in black vomit, but that affords only 
a slight protection against those which I consider other forms of the 
disease, or those which attack acclimated individuals, and which I be- 
lieve to arise from the same causes. The apparent exemption then 
from a second attack is not real ; the same fever is liable to return 
under a different form. As I have already said, I cannot believe that 
there is one cause of fever for the acclimated, and another for the 
new comer ; or that causes capable of producing the yellow fever, 
which is in some cases only a very moderate fever, are inactive, or 
foreign to the subsequent fevers inseparable from a long residence. 

To close : I shall say that however positive may be the manner in 
which I have expressed my opinions, I have purposed to give them 
with the humility appropriate to the subject. I implore indulgence 
from criticism, and I hope that they will be received for what they may 
be intrinsically worth. I ask nothing more. W. Df, H. 


Matamoras, April 1, 1854. 


I forward a report from Dr. Antonio Lafon, of Matarnoras ; I refer to 
it for more complete statements and answers, to the within questions. I 
was here during the whole of the yellow fever, but of course, could have 
no such opportunities as that gentleman, for observing the disease on 
either side of the Rio Grande . 

The surface soil is a calcareous, clayey soil. 

The water used, is usually taken from the river Rio Grande. In some 
few cases well or rain water may be used, but very rarely. 

Disturbance of the soil ; nothing of the above description has been 

The Rio Grande runs within half a mile of the town. 

In the rainy seasons the water does not run off freely. 

The wind from the Southeast, during the epidemic, and the tempera- 
ture generally very warm and moist. 

I am not aware that any of the lower animals, or vegetable kingdom 
were effected by the epidemic. 

Testimony of Dr. Antonio La/on. 135 

The number of persons, of all classes, according to the census of July, 
1853, was 6,500. In making the census, no distinction was made of per- 
sons, whether adults, over or under age, &c, nor of natives, foreigners, 

There were 322 deaths in Matamoras from yellow fever, hut no statis- 
tics were kept of the different ages or color of those who died. 

No statistics were kept of the number of persons who were taken down 
with the yellow fever ; but Dr. Lafon, whose report is herewith forwarded, 
states that the natives of Matamoras suffered less than persons from the 
interior of Mexiqp, and other parts. 

The first case of yellow fever took place on the 22d of September, 

The disease prevailed without distinction of classes, habits, age, &c, 
Q< — Do you regard the epidemic as true yellow fever ? A — I do. 
Q. — Have you ever seen this disease before ? A. — I have. Q. — If 
you have, state where ? A.— In Matamoras, in 1847. T. J. D. 

[Translated by Prof. Tornos, of the University of Louisiana.] 


Report on the Yellow Fever in the City of Matamoras, from September, 
1853, to January, 1854. 



Matamoras, of the department of Tamaulipas, in the Republic of 
Mexico, is situated on the right bank of the Kio Grande or Bravo del 
Norte, in lat. 25deg. 53min. North, about one thousand yards from the 
bank of the said river, and also at a distance (in a direct line) of eight 
leagues from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. On account of the 
little consistency of the soil, the bed of the river is continually chang- 
ing, leaving over those parts which it abandons, lakes (esteros) which 
if they become dry after some time, are again formed at great inun- 
dations, so that there have been periods in which the inhabitants have 
been surrounded on all sides by these lakes. Notwithstanding, since 
1847 there are only (wo permanent lakes, one to the North, the other 
to the East, which wash the outskirts of the city. 

Matamoras has, as its neighboring city on the left of the Rio Bravo, 
at about a mile distant, Brownsville, in the State of Texas, (U. S.) 

The soil of Matamoras is of very late formation — at the surface is 
found a large quantity of vegetable earth, but a little dense, under- 
neath another layer of clay, and at four or five feet commences a sand, 
being the deposit of the alluvial soil; at a depth of twenty to twenty, 
five feet you find sweet water in certain spots, and in others salt water, 
another where there is nothing but cley the water is of bad quality, 
and gives off sulphuretted hydrogen gas, and even carbonic acid gas, 

136 Testimony of Dr. Antonio La/on. 

which has caused the death of several laborers who have descended 
for the purpose of sinking wells. 

The immediate deposits of water are the above named Rio Bravo, 
and the lakes; these waters are of ordinary quality; that of the lakes, 
which is stagnant water, and is changed as soon as it mixes with the 
river, is only fit for washing purposes and for animals. The water of 
the river is the only potable water generally used ; it contains in 
solution small quantities of carbonate of lime, and those of the wells 
show the presence of sulphuretted hydrogen gas, 


Matamoras lies in a plain exposed to all winds ; those most frequent- 
ly prevailing are the North and South, which may be called prevalent. 
The North winds appear generally in October, and continue until 
April, and last one, two and eight days, and sometimes in the depth of 
winter, until fifteen days. These winds cool the atmosphere exceed- 
ingly, so that it is not seldom seen that the thermometer falls in less 
than one or two hours, ten to fifteen degrees, Centigrade. 

The predominant wind, during the epidemic, was the Southeast. 
The temperature was generally warm and damp ; in the night it was 
less warm and more damp. In the month of November, from the 
18th to the 21st, there occurred three or four days of heavy rain. 
The epidemic was then at its greatest height, and it may be said that 
this rain had contributed to the increase and to the malignancy of the 
cases of yellow fever. 

It is not possible for me to give exact particulars of the meteoro- 
logical observations, as I made none ; yet I will affirm, as it appears 
to me important, that the winter of 1850 was considerably severe, in- 
asmuch as the lakes in that year were frozen over for three days, 
and the cold winds prevailed frequently; that further, in the years 
1851 and 1852 the winters were so only in name; that in these two 
years, during the months of June, July and August, there were fre- 
quent risings in the river Bravo, caused by the rivers and streams 
which discharge themselves into it, at considerable distance from 
this city — that in those same years prevailed a torrefying aridity 
on the coast during the summer ; and that another aridity just as great 
succeeded in the summer of 1853, that in the months of the rise of 
the river, and the consecutive months of the years 1851 and 1852 
prevailed an epidemic of stubborn intermittent fever, whose virulence 
was greater than in anterior years ; and that lastly in the corre- 
sponding months of 1853, the epidemic was not intermittent, but yel- 
low fever, which some authors, including myself, are disposed to 
consider as a pernicious intermittent fever, in origin and nature, and 
many points analogous. 

Our attention was not called; to any particular phenomena in the 
vegetable and animal kingdoms, which might not be common in other 

Testimony of Dr. Antonio La/on. 137 


The population of this city, according to statistics made up in the 
last July, amounted to 6,500 inhabitants. These are either descend- 
ants of the pure European race, or mixed with European and native, 
thereby being a less number of natives, and very few negroes, mulat- 
toes or quadroons. In the statistics which we have referred to in the 
Secretary's office of the corporation of this city, no division in the 
number of the natives of the city has been made between that of the 
strangers, &c, &c, and on this account I will not enlarge more on 
this particular. 


In the course of the epidemic in this city, I had in my practice alone 
thirty-one cases of death by yellow fever: 

Eight under 10 years of age, six males and two females; 

Twenty-three above 10 years, sixteen males and seven females; 
Of whom nineteen were natives of this city, or resided in it for many 
years, and twelve were strangers, of the interior of the Mexican Repub- 
lic, whose residence in this city had been only a few days, or at most a 


Of one hundred and eight cases of yellow fever that fell under my 
observation there were 

Twenty-two subjects under 10 years, fifteen males, seven females ; 

Eighty-six do. above 10 years, fifty -five males, thirty-one females; 
Of whom thirty-two, (twelve of whom died, and twenty recovered) 
were strangers, from the interior of Mexico, and were recently estab- 
lished in Matamoras; six (three of whom recovered, and three died) 
whose natal country is not known, nor when they arrived here ; and 
seventy-six (fifty-seven of whom recovered, and nineteen died) natives 
of the city, or residents for mauy years. 


The first case of the yellow fever which presented itself to me in the 
city, occurred on the 22d September, in the servant of a doctor, who had 
just arrived from the city of Victoria. The sickness showed itself in 
her with the following symptoms : shivering, headache, pain in the 
waist and limbs, red eyes and full of tears, face with the appearance of 
typhus, pain in the stomach, frequent nausea and vomitings, insatiable 
thirst, skin warm and dry, pulse full and quick; in the night giddiness 
and sleeplessness ; nevertheless, these symptoms are not continual ; then 
perspiration takes place at the end of some hours, and with this the rest 
of the symptoms disappear, to return again with the regularity which 
is observable in intermittent fevers of a similar type. But notwith- 
standing this simi lanty, I say that the case of which I am speaking was 
yellow fever, for the following reasons: the appearance at the begin- 
ning of the aforesaid fever was the same which this woman showed 
and which is common in those attacked with yellow fever ; the vomitings, 
if even they are common at the time of the chill in the first attack, cease 

138 Testimony of Dr. Antonio La/on. 

generally very quickly, and are not repeated, while in this case the 
vomitings were continuous, even at the time of the intermissions, and 
afterwards, during convalescence. The jaundice , of a dark yellow 
color, showed itself in this case on the fourth or fifth day, and although 
the disease yielded in ten or twelve days, the patient was left weak, and 
broken down for a longtime, a common occurrence after a fever such 
as the yellow fever, but seldom after a simple daily fever of ten or 
twelve days duration. 

When I was attending this sick woman, a rumor spread through 
the city that at Brownsville, our neighboring city, several cases of yel- 
low fever had occurred ; and although I went to investigate the truth 
of this, in company with my friend, (the master of the sick person 
in question,) I could not arrive at any certainty. Still I was bound to 
suppose so, as two persons had died at the end of four days, of a bilious 
fever, and ten or fifteen days after the disease had become general in 
a manner not to be mistaken, it having entered that city fifteen or 
twenty days before ours. 

The second case which came under my observation in Matamoras 
was that of a child, about six or seven years old, in which I assisted 
Dr. Ortega. I had been called in for consultation, twelve hours before 
the child died, At my first visit it had been three days ill ; bloody 
evacuations, pulse slow and weak, cold perspiration, vomiting every 
now and then of viscous matter. One hour before death, these vomit- 
ings were of a black hue, characteristic ; so that in this case the dis- 
tinguishing symptom was not doubtful. 

Seven cases occurred in my practice from the 4th October to the 
24th of the same month, after which date the yellow fever began to 
reign as an epidemic in this city, for at the same time every one of the 
faculty, both in this city and in Brownsville had some case or other 
under treatment. 

According to more authentic dates, the epidemic began to prevail 
in this city some ten or fifteen days after it had somewhat spread in the 
neighboring city ; and from circumstances of which I am aware, it 
appears that it was brought from New Orleans to this, not by sea, but 
by land; then Galveston, Corpus Christi, Point Isabel, and Browns- 
ville were successively attacked, after an interval of time much greater 
than that which it takes to cross the short space of the gulf which 
separates these cities one from the other, cities between which there 
are now perhaps daily communications by sea. 

As regards the cause which produces the yellow fever, I think it 
lies in the atmosphere ; the said disease spreading by infection and not 
by contagion; for I have seen many persons in contact direct, with 
some suffering under the disease, and they escaped it, then; whilst, 
afterwards, without any known cause, they were suddenly attacked 
and even succumbed to it. 

A miasma existing in the atmosphere produces yellow fever ; and 
that miasma, if not that which produces intermittent fever, ou°-ht to 

Testimony of Dr. Antonio La/on. 139 

bear much resemblance to it ; for it has been observed here, that, as 
well in this epidemic as in the accounts of intermittent fevers, the 
whole Southern population, which are not in the direction of the winds 
passing above the lakes, have been proportionally very little visited 
by these terrible azotes. 


The yellow fever has no consideration for the different classes of 
society attacking, equally the rich and the poor, men and women, 
old and young. In 1841, when this fever appeared for the first time in 
this port, that which I have just mentioned could be better observed 
than in the present epidemic, for then more than half the population 
were attacked, a great part of whom died, as much the natives as 
strangers who had never lived in the focus of such a terrible azote. 

In the present epidemic more mildness was observable ; for many 
persons resident in this port for two or three years, either were not 
attacked, or if so, with little violence, a great many of them being 
saved, and the yellow fever venting its intensity on the strangers 
recently established, or whose residence did not exceed one year ; 
the mortality being among those attacked, as one to three. 

Although no particular class is free from the disease, one cannot 
deny that the sanitary precautions of the rich are much more favorable 
to a good result, if attacked — a greater mortality being observable 
among the poor, on account of the want of those precautions which 
means afford. 


General symptoms observed in the first stage : shivering, eyes 
wild, fixed, full of tears, heavy and red, with great pain in the sockets, 
extension of the pupils, flushed cheeks, cephalalgia very intense 
towards the forehead, ruddy tongue at the sides and the tip, covered 
in the centre with a whitish or yellowish coat, skin burning and dry, 
seldom moist, pulse hard, less and less frequent, and generally full ; 
pains in the lumbar region and in the limbs, with cramps often in 
the feet and legs, the stomach seldom painful to the touch, nausea 
and vomitings — first of undigested food, then of bilious matter; im- 
patience, thirst ; at times moderate, at others violent ; costiveness in 
the greater part of the cases, reddish urine, and somewhat abundant; 
appearance as from typhus. 

In the second stage, which begins from the third to the fourth 
day, jaundice and haemorrhage appears. The face assumes a strong 
yellowish color, which commences to be observed in the conjunctiva. 
Diarrhoea then takes place ; at first, viscous, afterwards bloody, or 
even the blood flows through various natural apertures. There exists 
much agitation and anxiety while this jaundice and hsemorrhage 
occur; then ensues a painful crisis, during which the suppression or 
the retention of the urine is observed; vomiting and evacuations of 
a black color. Sometimes in the agitation which accompanies this 
second stage, succeeds a general warmth, a deceiving calmness, 

140 Testimony of Dr. Antonio La/on. 

during which the skin becomes fresh and moist, the pulse regular, 
although slow, and the spirits of the patient revive with the hope of 
a speedy recovery. But this state lasts but a short time, for quickly 
return restlessness, the pains, and besides these, vomitings, and then 
death ensues. 

In some cases there is no exterior, but interior haemorrhage, ob- 
servable by the difficulty of respiration, and drowsiness of the body. 

This epidemic did not declare itself in this city suddenly, but, as 
I have said, gradually, several isolated cases being observed at the 
beginning, and very easy to be mistaken, (no epidemic raging at the 
time,) with certain cases of bilious or violent intermittent fever. 

Notwithstanding, if at the beginning, as at the end of the epidemic, 
less violence was observed in its course, and always an intermission 
in its symptoms, which made it comparable to strong intermittent fever, 
this same intermission was observed, also, at the height of the 
epidemic, among certain individuals attacked who were natives of 
the port, and had not had, at other periods of the epidemic, the yellow 
fever, or who, without being natives of this port, lived in it for five 
or six years. From which it may be deduced with sufficient reason, 
that the yellow fever is of the same nature as the intermittent fever, 
from which it differs solely by its greater violence. 

The duration (generally) of this disease in the more serious cases, 
was from three and a half to four days, these cases being among per- 
sons recently arrived, or not sufficiently acclimated. Among the 
natives of the port, or among the acclimated, the disease, although it 
might terminate in death, lasted much longer, and this in proportion 
to the being acclimated, which diminishes much the virulence of the 
disease, without exception in this respect of even the aged persons. 

Of the 108 cases of yellow fever, I noticed in twenty-six there were 
vomitings or black evacuations ; of which twenty-six, twenty-three 
died and three recovered ; of these three, two had been attacked at 
the commencement of the epidemic, and were natives; and the other, 
recently arrived, owed his recovery, without doubt, to the good for- 
tune of having been among the last attacked, when the epidemic had 
lost its virulence. This case was very curious ; the subject, a child 
of nine years of age, of a very weak constitution, had suffered •irom 
pleurisy many times, and still has the germ of tubercle in the lungs. 
It was the last case observed in my practice ; in fact, the last case 
in the whole city. 

In thirty-six cases there was jaundice, of which twenty-three 
recovered and thirteen died; and in twenty cases haemorrhage, thir- 
teen dying and seven recovering. 

In general, the prodroma were of short duration, being, at most, 
twenty -four hours. The subject is within the focus of the infection. 
Scarcely has the poison, or whatever cause of the disease, penetrated 
into his economy, but he begins to feel its presence and provokes its 

Testimony of Dr. Wm. Jameson. 141 

The epidemic which reigned in this city, was the real yellow fever, 
similar to that which raged in New Orleans, in Galveston, Corpus 
Christi and Brownsville, &c, and requires no more confirmation than 
the history of the epidemic itself. 

I have only been practicing five years ; and although I had not had 
the opportunity to see this disease, at least as an epidemic, still I had 
noticed in this port several perfectly well marked cases. 

Of the 108 cases of yellow fever which I observed in the last epidemic, 
1 have already said, in paragraph VI., how many died, and how many 

This epidemic committed ravages not only in the city, but also in the 
little villages adjoining, and in rural habitations ; and I am sure that in 
il of them the. disease appeared before it entered the city. 

The number of victims by yellow fever, according to the statistics made 
up in the office of the corporation of this city, was 322 in 6,500 in- 
habitants, which number we have said the city contained. 




Quito Ecuador, March 22, 1S54. 

The name of the locality is Guayaquil, situated on the Western bank 
of a navigable river bearing the same name, which discharges itself into 
the Pacific in lat. 2 deg. 15m. South. Its limits and boundaries are the 
Pacific on the West and South-west ; towards the East the chain of the 
Andes, and towards the North the provinces of Manabi and Esweraldas. 

The surface soil is clayey for some distance above Guayaquil, and ex- 
tending to the mouth of the river. 

The river supplies the water used by the inhabitants. That procured 
by digging wells is brackish, and therefore unfit for domestic use. Even 
the river water possesses this quality during the period of the day season, 
and must be brought down from a situation on the river considerably above 
Guayaquil) where the ocean tide is not so perceptible. 

Disturbance of the soil ; nothing of the above description has been 

Position with regard to rivers, bayous, &c. ; probably at some remote 
period the province of Guayaquil was covered by the ocean — it presents 
an extensive tract of level country interspersed with a few isolated hills 
crowned with a luxuriant vegetation of forest trees. From the end of 
December to the beginning of May, it is almost under water, and becomes 
navigable in canoes. The inundation is caused by the rains poured down 
in the interior during the above mentioned period. The banks of the 
river, to within a short distance of Guayaquil, present a rank vegetation 
of lofty Mangroves, the runts of which are alternately bathed and left dry 
by the salt tide. The clayey soil in the vicinity of Guayaquil is impreg- 

142 Testimony of Dr. Wm. Jameson. 

nated with salt, and produces in abundance a species of Salicernea, from 
which kelp is occasionally prepared. 

I did not notice any material change in the weather as to dampness or 
dryness, hot or cold, or the prevalence of rains and fogs, winds, &c, 
during the existence of the fever. 

I am not aware that any of the lower animals were effected by the epi- 
demic—neither did its operation extend to the vegetable kingdom during 
the epidemic. 

The population is estimated at about 15,000 inhabitants, probably one 
third whites. It is difficult to obtain authentic information on this head ; 
when the Government issues an order to form a census, the people gen- 
erally imagine that the ultimate object is to recruit for the army, or to 
exact a contribution — any inquiry is consequently evaded. The foreign 
population, probably altogether did not exceed fifty or sixty, comprising 
natives of the United States, England, France and Italy. The natives of 
Panama, as well as those of the Atlantic coast within the tropics, such as 
Carthagena, Santa Maveba, Laguayra and Puerto Cabello, invariably 
escaped the epidemic ; also the natives of the interior, and even Euro-, 
peans who had previously resided in these countries. 

When the epidemic assumed an alarming character, perhaps about one- 
third of the inhabitants abandoned the town, consequently there remained 
about 10,000, of these 1,691 died within the period of six months. In 
the neighboring villages within the jurisdiction of Guayaquil, the popula- 
tion of which may, in the aggregate, be stated to amount to 1 8,000, in- 
cluding the 5,000 from Guayaquil, the mortality did not exceed 700. 
Population of Guayaquil with its dependant villages 28,000 ; number of 
deaths from yellow fever 2,391, or about 12 per cent, of the total population. 

Among the colored it was not so generally fatal as among the whites ; 
although many of the former were severely attacked. 

My first case occurred about the 10th or 12th of Sept., 1842. (For 
other cases see Appendix.)* 

I do not know of any case which appeared to have originated sponta- 
neously ; several individuals who took the precaution of isolating them- 
selves by retiring to the country, at no great distance from the town, 
escaped the epidemic during the three years that it prevailed. Such 
individuals were exposed to the same endemic influences. 

The vicinity of ponds, swamps, &c, and I may add a high temperature, 
certainly favors the development of yellow fever ; but another cause will 
be supcraded, and that I conceive to be a specific infection. 

People recently arrived from temperate countries, as well as the natives 
from the elevated regions of the interior, suffered more severely than 
those of the coast ; women less so than men ; contrary to the o-eneral opin- 
ion, many individuals habitually addicted to the use of spirits, (or professed 
drunkards,) although severely attacked, recovered. 

Occasionally commenced mildly with symptoms resembling a violent 

* The appendix, we regret to say, never fame to bund. 

Testimony of Dr. Wm. Jameson. 143 

catarrh ; but generally the attack was of a more violent character, with 
rarely any premonitory simptom, the patient being seized with sudden 
and violent headache, loss of appetite, severe pains in the loins, thighs and 
knees ; no remarkable heat of skin ; weakness and oppression of the pulse ; 
eyes injected and watery, with intolerance of light ; tongue moist and 
covered with a whitish fur, red at the edges ; costiveness ; tension and 
pain of the abdomen, particularly in the epigastric region- 

Yellowness of skin with the latter stage, appearing first about the neck 
and face and afterwards extending over the whole body. 

Haemorrhage was frequently observed first from the gums, which became 
remarkably spongy, the blood not coajulating ; also haemorrhage from the 
nose, the ears, the anus and the uterus, in cases terminating fatally. 

Remittent fevers were equally prevalent as on former occasions, and 
when these assumed a malignant character, were with difficulty distin- 
guished from true yellow fever. Their origin could be traced to the de- 
composition of vegetable matter, and their symptoms characterized by 
slight intermissions. 

Q. — Assuming the propagation of the disease from exposure either to 
an infected atmosphere, to personal communication with the sick, or con- 
tact with goods or clothing, either of the sick or transmitted from a local- 
ity considered infected, what time intervened between said exposure and 
the appearance of premonitory symptoms, and also the development of 
the disease ? 

A. — Generally within a period varying from six to ten or twelve days. 
The Indians and other inhabitants of the interior who descended to Osa- 
bahayo for objects of traffic, frequently returned with the germ of the 
malady, and perished on the road. At Angas, 3,028 feet above the sea 
level, many died of the fever contracted on the banks of the river of 
Guayaquil, but in no case was it communicated to the inhabitants of 

Q. — Do you regard the epidemic as true yellow fever 5 
A.— Yes. 

Q. — Have you ever seen this disease before ? 
A.— No. 

Q. — Please state the whole number of cases of black vomit which you 
have seen ? 

A. — I cannot at present recollect. 
Q. — Also number of recoveries thereafter ? 

A. — Scarcely any where black vomit becomes the prominent symptom. 
Q. — State the number of cases alleged to be the second or third attacks, 
and the evidence thereof? 

A. — I know of none from personal observation, and my impression is 
that a person who had once experienced an attack of true yellow fever is 
for ever secure from a second attack ; even should he have afterwards 
lived in a cold climate and afterwards returns to the coast where the fever 
was actually prevailing. 

Q. — State as nearly as possible the number of persons attendant on the 

144 Testimony of Br. Lacomb. 

sick, or otherwise exposed to its possible causes and liable thereto from 
never having had it, who have entirely escaped during the epidemic ? 

A.—I believe that none escaped who had not previously had the 

Q. — Does the yellow fever ever occur in the rural districts, or if con- 
veyed there from a city, does it spread from such case ? 

A. — In 1842, 1843, and 1844 it extended to the population distributed 
on the alluvial country forming the province of Guayaquil. 

Q. — Is it a new fever ? Does it come from abroad, and if so from 
whence ? if of domestic origin — what has produced it ? 

A. — See Appendix. 

Q. — What probability of its having been imported from Africa. Were 
the newly imported Africans affected by it, and did it terminate in black 
vomit r Enclose a copy of your sanitary measures. 

A. — No sanitary measures have been published. 



Puerto Cabello, March 15, 1854. 
Hon. William L. Marcy, Secretary of State, Washington. 

Sir : — I have the honor, herewith, to inclose answers to the questions 
of the Sanitary Commission of New Orleans. 

I am indebted to Dr. Lacomb for his kind assistance. Although his 
remarks are lengthy, I could not well abridge them without impairing 
their force ; therefore I have sent them entire. 

Dr. Lacomb is the best educated and most skillful physician in this 
city ; and has been, to my knowledge, very successful in his treatment of 
yellow fever. He has had much experience and extensive practice. 
I remain, with great respect, 

Your obedient servant, 
[Signed] Southt Grinalds. 


Answers to the questions of the Sanitary Commission of New Orleans, 
each number corresponding to those of the questions: 

1. — The name of the locality is Puerto Cabello. 

2. — It is bounded on the North by the Carribean Sea, in latitude 10 
degrees, 28 minutes North ; extending South to the Province of Equador ; 
and extending about forty miles East and West of Puerto Cabello. 

3. — The soil is mostly sandy; part of the city formerly was surrounded 
by swamps; which have been filled up with all sorts of dirt, horns and 
bones of oxen, and continually with Indian cornstalks, and animal manure 
or dung from the stables of the city, and also with all the filth of the houses. 
The water edges of the port, with ballast of vessels from all parts ; the 
city and port are surrounded with mangrove, (phizophora,) in a circle close 

Testimony of Dr. Lacomb. 145 

to the port ; extending in an Easterly direction, from North to South, 
and with elevated mountains, from three-fourths to three miles from the 
population. Large and filthy swamps exist, also, in some parts of the 
city,and in a circle surrounding it. From East to West, nearly all is left 
to time and nature almost, for the removal of such nuisance. The water 
bottom of the port is partly muddy, partly carbonate of lime coral, and 
partly of sand and small freestones. 

4. — The drinking water used, is from the small river San Ertebons, 
which takes its sources from the mountains, some five or six leagues oft"; 
the water is of the purest sort, very light, and soft, when filtered through 
a stone, as performed in the city, and when taken from the river, 
some distance from the city. Heavy rains alter much the quality of the 
water, with mud and ashes proceeding from the burning of the bushes on 
the mountains or elevated lands in the vicinity of the river, in the months 
of February, March, April and May, before the commencement of the 
rainy season, so as to cultivate them. Bowel complaints are the results, 
and prevail during these months, in consequence of the great quantities 
of potash carried down into the river, during these months, by the first 

5. — No disturbance of the soil, further than for the ordinary purposes 
of building houses ; of little consequence. 

6. — [This has been answered in reply to question No. 3.] 

7. — The drainage of the city, although mostly paved, is very bad ; 
water will, in many parts, remain on the soil after rains and high tides, 
(in October, November and December) and stagnate. On the spots in- 
dicated in question 3d, water will stagnate for several months in the 
year, and create much sulphuretted hydrogen gas, perceptible on passing 
near or through those spots. As Health and Port Physician of this port, 
nine years previous to May, 1852, all vny exertions to obtain from the 
government and local authorities some attention on the subject were of 
no value whatever. 

8. — As regards the meteorology of the locality, as far as I can inform 
you, the weather is damp ; extremely so from April to July ; less so during 
the other months of the year. The rainy season is from April to July 
and August. The heat, from November to March, is from 72° to 80°, 
Fahrenheit; and from April to the end of October, from 84° to 92°; in 
September, till the middle of October, sometimes the thermometer rises 
to 96°, and even to 100° ; but this will last but a few hours, now and then. 
Generally, the thermometer begins to go down steadily from the 20th of 
October. The climate is then the most pleasant ; it is entirely free from 
fog ; cool in the shade, but hot in the sun. Thunder storms and light- 
ning are very prevalent in the rainy season indicated, and the atmosphere 
is then very oppressive and very hot. The wind blows generally from the 
East, during the day time, and from ten o'clock at night until early in the 
morning from the Southwest. This latter is cool and damp, and gener- 
ally denominated as land breeze ; in the months of October, November 
and December, the wind sometimes blows from the North for some hours, 

146 Testimony of Dr. Lacomb. 

and creates affections of the lungs, and rheumatism; sometimes, also, 
during the same months, it will blow strong from the South, raising a 
very strong and unpleasant dust from the plains of the country, which 
brings on fevers of a bad nature on the natives, seldom affecting foreign- 
ers ; this wind seldom lasts more than from two to six hours at a time. 
Remittent and intermittent fevers are generally the prevailing diseases of 
the place, and yield easily under the influence of emetics, cathartics and 
quinine. The low classes, generally poor and of loose habits, are the 
subjects to their influence, and they are more fatal to them for want of 
proper assistance and means ; as the hospital existing cannot be called 
such, as it is of the lowest order, and admits only twelve persons at a 
time, with hardly any assistance, and in the most filthy state. The phy- 
sician of the establishment is an empiric, without education, (a creole) 
without credentials. 

The prevailing period of remittent and intermittent fever, is during the 
rainy season, and it is a general and constant rule, that this place becomes 
entirely free from diseases, and the healthiest in the world, when strong 
heat, combined with total absence of rain and dampness prevails ; the 
atmosphere being then dry. Another characteristic of the climate is 
that fevers are less frequent when the rains are very strong and great, 
than when small and frequent. The scarlet fever prevailed lately as epi- 
demic in the whole population, and was fatal and dreaded ; this fever had 
not been known here for twenty-five or thirty years ; it existed amongst 
the creole population, and especially among children ; while the yellow 
fever prevailed among Europeans and foreigners. During nearly two 
years, from 1852 to '54, the weather was materially altered from its former 
state; it was very hot and very damp ; small rains, frequently repeated. 
During all this period, we had the yellow fever, the scarlet fever, colds, 
dysentery, intermittent and remittent fevers, and various shades of typhoid 
fever. Since March, of this year, disease seems to have disappeared alto- 

9. — Have not observed anything remarkable in the animal or vegetable 
kingdoms. Had the violent earthquake that occurred at Cumiana, any 
influence on the creation of diseases in this place, which Ave had not 
known here for many years past ? 

10. — The population of the city alone of Puerto Cabello, is 5,800 souls. 
Those of the whole district, (cantone) including the city, is 9,500 souls ; 
occupying an immense extent of land. The population is what is called 
by the Spaniards an ollapodrida, or, in other words, a mixture of whites, 
Indians, mulattoes, negroes, and all the other variations of skins generally 
found in the population of Venezuela ; and where everybody is white, (al- 
though black mostly,) it is impossible to estimate the number of real 

11. — The number of deaths from yellow fever were — French about 20' 
Spaniards, 35, including those of the man-of-war Gen. VaJdes- Creoles 
of the place, about 10; Creoles from the interior, 6; Americans 11* 
other foreigners, 68. 

Testimony of Dr. Lacomb. 147 

12. — With the exception of four or five, all those indicated in question 
11th, died of yellow fever. Except three or four German women, all 
were men and boys from the shipping ; cannot tell the number that were 
taken sick. 

13. — In August, 1852, a Danish brig of war came from Santa Cruz to 
St. Thomas, having lost many of her crew, in those islands and at sea, 
from there here, of yellow fever ; several of the men had been thrown into 
deep water near the Island of Gayaguasa, three miles from this port ; 
and several were buried in the Foreign Burial Ground of this place ; at 
that time the city was most healthy. The commander of the said brig 
declared, supported by his vice-consul, that he had no yellow fever on 
board ; but as statements to the contrary had been made to the Mayor, 
the latter insisted on getting the commander and consul to admit a visit 
from Dr. Lacomb on board of the brig, to examine the cases of sickness be- 
fore taking the step of preventing any further communication with the brig 
and city. They resisted the order of the Mayor, and the vessel sailed for 
Curacao, where she lost a considerable number of her crew of yellow fever, 
as officially known here. About twenty days after her departure, we 
had the first case of yellow fever, in the foreign shipping, which gradually 
spread in the crews of the vessels in port, among the German emigrants, 
and among foreign merchants and clerks of late arrivals to this place. 
The disease lasted until the first day of March, of this year, and finally 
disappeared. The conduct of the commander of the Danish brig of war, 
and his vice-consul, Hide, was very little creditable to their honor, or hu- 
manity, in this case ; for denying the truth, and preventing that precaution 
which should have been made against their communication with us, as it 
was not supposed that such men would be capable of deceiving the author- 
ities of the place in such a criminal manner. 

14. — The next fifteen cases took place in September, 1852, and were 
very mortal, as is always in similar cases. 

15. — Some French vessels from Guadalupe and Martini co had men taken 
with the disease in this port ; had suffered quarantine before admitted in 
it ; but the disease had broken out here, before their arrival here. 

16. — It is generally believed here that the disease was communicated 
by the Danish brig of war alluded to in answer No. 13. 

17. — In 1844 the writer treated several sporadic cases of yellow fever, 
from a Spanish vessel with emigrants from the Canary Islands ; but only 
few men and the captain had the disease ; vomited black, and evacuated ; 
but none died, and the disease did not spread in the shipping, which 
was very numerous in port at the time ; and no precautions were taken 
to prevent its spreading. The small pox existed then as epidemic, in the 
whole portion of the district, Creole and foreign. 

18. — Relative to the spread of the early cases of the disease : to answer 
this question, it would be necessary to write a book ; however, " yes " can 
be answered, and " no," also. 

19. — Social condition : the first part of this question has been answered 
in No. 8. The houses are not generally crowded, and occupy a large ex- 

148 Testimony of Dr. Lacomb. 

tent of land compared to the population ; which is, in part, given up 
to loose life and liquor. The yellow fever did not spread amongst the 
Creole population, with few exceptions, as stated already above. When the 
endemic fevers exist, the mortality is mostly confined to the lowest classes. 
20. — Retired from practice since May, 1852. I had comparatively less 
practice to attend to than the other physicians of the city. I only attend 
in some instances, to please friends, who insisted I should do so. Respect- 
ing the symptoms, to avoid writing too much, I should state that they 
were absolutely those indicated in the " Dictionnaire de Medicine and 
Chirurgie Pratique, Paris, 1830." The autopsic examination of sev- 
eral dead bodies an hour or two after death also presented the same or- 
ganic lesions or alterations described in said book. In one case, a 
German of light complexion, where no black vomit nor evacuation had 
taken place, the stomach and intestines I found full of the stuff consti- 
tuting the black vomit ; the gall bladder full of a perfect black fluid, 
which stained my hands for two days ; the liver very much enlarged and 
pliable ; having the exact color of gum gamboge ; the lungs gorged with 
carbonized blood, &c. The autopsy I practised an hour after death. I never 
found that the brain had been the immediate cause of death — judging 
by its state. The termination by death was, in all the cases, between 
the period of three to eight days from the calculated period of incubation. 
21— The proportion of cases in which black vomit appeared was about 

22. — Yellowness of skin, with exceptions, took place in almost every 
case ; and in the cases where it presented itself before the seventh day, 
death always resulted. 

23. — Epistaxis and haemorrhage of the gums, and oozings from the 
mucus membranes, in a great many of the cases ; but mostly after the 
fifth day. 

24.— Did other types of fever prevail, &c. ? This question has already 
been answered in question 8th. In its latter part, the disease assumed 
always the typhoid type. 

25.— All the questions put to the attacked with yellow fever, result, that 
some felt, previous to the pains of the loins, head and limbs, a loss of appe- 
tite, a great heat, with chills sometimes; the saliva thick and unpleasant, 
or sour taste in the mouth, from the moment a patient attacked ; pains bitter 
of the loins and limbs, depression of spirits, facial congestion, &c. I calcu- 
lated twenty-four hours since the complete invasion, and always found the 
calculation to answer the terms of duration, whether fatal or not. It is 
impossible to answer in a different manner this question, as the incuba- 
tion of the disease is more or less active, according to constitution pre- 
disposition, &c. ' 
26. — The yellow fever we had, I consider genuine. 
27.— I have seen the yellow fever in Guadalupe, of which Island I am 
a native; I have seen it also in St. Thomas and Carracas, in the years 
1838, '39, '40, where I first treated diseases ; although in quite a different 
manner, I did here. 

Testimony of Dr. Lacomb. 149 

28. — [Answered by the prior question.] 

29. — 1 have seen the hospitals full of sailors and soldiers, vomiting and 
evacuating black in all directions. I have seen the yellow fever in patients 
of a higher order or class, in private houses in Guadalupe and St. Thomas, 
previous to the year 1829, when I left the islands for Europe. I have treated 
black vomit in Carracas in 1838, '39, and '40, as stated above; and everybody 
there knows that my practice was very extensive. Latterly, however, I 
have treated the disease here; seen most of the cases, although they were 
not under my care, from being retired from the practice. 

30. — The recoveries in the islands at the time mentioned, and previous 
to it, to my knowledge, could not be above forty per cent. ; the recoveries 
in Carracas, at the period mentioned, were seventy-five per cent, in the 
beginning, and at the end they were from ninety to ninety-five ; they 
were here lately from fifty to fifty-five per cent. The greatest mortality 
was among those bled from the arm. I have attended from 1852 till 
lately about sixty-two cases which presented in all their violence the or- 
dinary symptoms of yellow fever, and lost but two men from the German 
brig George ; and one out of twenty-four confided to my care of the offi- 
cers and crew of the Spanish Brig of war General Valdes, who had fifty- 
two men attacked by the disease ; eighteen of the other twenty-eight I 
did not practice for died. I believe Consul Grinalds can testify more or 
less to the veracity of my assertions ; and the Spanish Consul, also, in 
case of need. 

31. — Did not observe the number of alleged second and third attacks 
here ; but know of one Spanish sailor, of the General Valdes, which was 
reported as having had the yellow fever in Havana, and died of a second 
attack of it here. 

32. — It is difficult to ascertain, positively, the number of persons at- 
tendant on the sick, and otherwise exposed — not having previously had 
it — who have entirely escaped the epidemic ; but I know of Europeans, 
lately arrived, who exposed themselves, attending the sick, and did not 
get the disease. 

33. — Deaths usually occurred, as I have already said above, from the 
third to the eighth day of the calculated invasion ; some the third, some 
the fifth, mostly all entering the eighth day, a few hours after having con- 
cluded the seventh. 

34. — We have instances of black vomit occurring constantly in differ- 
ent parts of the interior of this country ; lately at Nutrias, nearly sixty 
per cent, of the population died of it. Also at the Aragua Valley, in 
Valencia, the capital of the province, situated nine leagues from this place, 
many cases occurred among the creole population, especially young peo- 
ple in Carracas, five leagues from Laguayra; many cases existed last year, 
and were fatal in the native population. 

35. — I leave the question of its origin and cause to the most learned 
to answer. All we could write on it, I believe, would prove nothing more 
than what is already known on the subject. I think it would be best to 
find out the best treatment for it, and view the disease in a different way, 

150 Testimony of Mr. Robert G. Scott. 

as I did of late ; but to explain my views, it requires to write a volume ; 
I intend to do so as soon as possible. 

36. — We have no communication with Africa in this place. 

3 7. —The sanitary measures of this place consist in leaving the streets 
and sea-boards constantly dirty ; to throw all kinds of filth in the streets ; 
to board vessels coming from infected places, hailing them from a little 
distance of a few yards, taking the bill of health, read it (or not, as often 
as there are port physicians that neither understand French, Latin, Eng- 
lish, or German) ; and if they make out the bill is " not clean," they put 
the vessel in quarantine for a certain number of days, without guards, so 
that often the crews come on shore at night, and return before daylight 
on board. The number of days assigned for quarantine terminated, if 
nobody is sick on board, the vessel enters the port, the Board of Health 
meet, talk a great deal on things they don't understand, and all is over. 



CONSULATE OF THE UNITED STATES, Rio Db Janeiro, Maich 29, 1854. 

Sir : — Your communication of the 23d November last, was received 
by the steamer " North America." on the 26th of December, and had my 
immediate attention. 

I prepared a circular, and transmitted it on the 28th day of December, 
to three of the most eminent medical men of this city, covering the 
inquiries propounded by the Sanitary Commission of New Orleans, " in 
relation to a wide spread epidemic," which has visited and devastated a 
large portion of the United States in the past summer and autumn. 

From two of these gentlemen replies have been received. The first 
came from Dr. Pennell, and reached me on the 2d of January last. The 
second was prepared and sent me by Dr. Lallemant, and was received on 
the 19th ultimo. The other gentleman has yet sent me no reply, 
although from him ( Dr. Paula Candido ) I have the assurance of an 
answer, which is being prepared by him, and which he desires to make as 
full and as satisfactory as possible. 

Apprehending that you, and the Sanitary Commission at New Orleans, 
may, however, expect some prompt answer, I now transmit you herewith 
the two copies to which I have alluded. I forward, also, four printed 
copies of a report of Dr. Croker Pennell, upon yellow fever as it appear- 
ed in Brazil, during the summer of 1849 and 1850 ; and also, four copies 
of a pamphlet from the pen of Dr. Paula Candido, " concerning the 
propagation of yellow fever, and of its treatment aboard of ships." The 
authors of these works are esteemed two of the most scientific gentlemen 

The season is now so far advanced, that I may be excused and justified 
in saying that, as the city has been, from October last up to this day, very 

Testimony of Dr. C. Pennell. 151 

healthy, and for the three last months free from the yellow fever, it 
may be confidently expected there will be shortly no re-appearance of that 
disease. I take occasion further to add, that from the bills of mortality 
daily published, the accuracy of which stand vouched for by gentlemen 
of irreproachable character, united to my own personal observation, there 
is probably no city any where whose population has been freer from 
disease, for many months, than that of Rio de Janeiro. 
I am, with high and sincere respect, 

Your obedient servant, 

Robert G. Scott. 
To Hon. "William L. Marcy, Secretary of State, of the United States. 


Subject 1. — There has not been much clearing of land in the immedi- 
ate vicinity, nor great disturbance of the soil ; except in the streets of 
the city, which for some years past have been more frequently lying turned 
up than paved ; constantly disturbed by some work that has been going 
on. When in this (lately their usual) state, they are most offensive, being 
a receptacle for all kinds of filth, and are left in the most abandoned state 
of neglect. In the day, the city smells badly enough, but at night it is 
almost intolerable. The drainage is all by open gutters, having a very 
small declivity; consequently, after two or three weeks dry weather, 
many of the streets are full of black offensively smelling mud, principally 
derived from emptying slops, &c. To improve matters, the junta hygie- 
nica (President, Dr. Paula Candido) have directed that the mud should 
be daily removed. In order to do so, that which is collected in the mid- 
dle of the streets, (and might lie there comparatively innocently) is first 
spread over the whole surface of the street, to dry in the scorching rays 
of the sun, that it may exhale all its pestiferous influences, to the discom- 
fort of the inhabitants ; and is then (when dry) carted away. The accu- 
mulations of water are not much about Rio; principally in Rio. 

Subject 2. — The usual range on the centigrade hygrometer is from 15° 
to 24°R. Ordinary summer range of heat in shade from *78 to 86 c , Fahren- 
heit ; winter from 57° to 76°. Since (and some time before) the outbreak 
of yellow fever, there has been less thunder storms than usual — remarkably 
less. During the first epidemic of yellow fever, there was an unusual 
prevalence of winds from Northeast. 

Yellow fever was said to be unknown in Rio before the epidemic of 
1849 — '50. For some two or three years previous to this, it was gener- 
ally observed that fevers presented a different type to what they had 
hitherto done ; and occasionally a case was seen attended by all the pathog- 
nomonic symptoms of yellow fever; and was declared by the physicians 
in attendance to be such. These cases created no attention, until the dis- 
ease appeared in an epidemic form ; but were considered as aggravated 
forms of the fever of the country, and pronounced yellow fever. 

Bahia suffered from yellow fever in November, 1849; consequently, 
medical men were on the watch for it in Rio. The first cases excited con- 

152 Testimony of Dr. C. Pennell. 

siderable attention. They were both discovered in lodging houses in the 
same neighborhood, on December 28th, 1849, and taken to the hospital. 

They both died in the hospital within seventy-two hours ; one dying thirty 
hours before the other ; and therefore it may presumed Avas in a more 
advanced stage of the disease when discovered, on December 28th. The 
first who died was a Danish sailor, arrived fourteen days previously from 
Finland, direct ; the second was a German, (both sailors) who had left 
Bahia on November 25th, and arrived in Rio on December 2d ; none of 
the crew having been ill at Bahia, nor on the passage. The contagion- 
ists trace the disease from Bahia through this man ; but do not deny that 
the Danish sailor must have been attacked at least as early, and that he 
could have been submitted to no source of infection except through the 

The next ten or fifteen cases, for about as many days, were confined to 
this neighborhood ; which is the locality where exist the filthy, low lodging 
houses, ill-ventilated, and very much crowded. 

1st. — Many patients with yellow fever, have been conveyed to the 
country about Rio, and died with black vomit and suppression of urine ; 
but have never communicated the disease to others in those localities. 

2d. — Said to be new in Rio. Contagionists trace it to Rio from Bahia, 
and to Bahia from Havana. Non-contagionists find enough to account 
for its origin in the natural changes of the country — changes in the at- 
mosphere, attested by a remarkable absence of the usual thunder storms, 
and prevalence of winds ; besides other unknown but presumed changes ; 
from the fact that the common non-infectious fevers of the country had 
been for some four years previously, clearly changing their character, and 
were occasionally intermixed with an unmistakable case of yellow fever — 
that there were abundant sources of the disease in the low flat grounds 
about Rio, and the filthy undrained streets, in conjunction with the atmos- 
pheric changes — and that the evidence of imputed infection was most 

3d. — Not supposed to be imported from Africa. The newly imported 
blacks did not appear to suffer more than the acclimated, and presented 
a low rate of mortality. C. Pennell, M. B., London. 

Rio de Janeiro, December 30th, 1853. 

in Brazil during the Summer of 1849— 50 : By CROKER PEN- 
NELL, M. B. LONDON, M. R. C. S. E., and formerly Lecturer 
on Anatomy and Physiology at the Westminster LTospital School of 
Medicine, London. 

The following short report was written (Avithout any intention of print- 
ing it ) at the request of James Hudson, Esq., H. B. M. Envoy Extraordi- 
nary and Minister Plenipotentiary at this Court. At the instigation of 
several friends, Avho Avere desirous of sending home a correct statement 
of the progress made by the yellow fever in Rio de Janeiro, I have been 
induced to publish it. 

Testimony of Dr. C. Pennell. 153 

Unbiased by any preconceived opinion, I have recorded every fact that 
has come to my knowledge, which seemed to throw light upon the natura 
of the disease. It is only from a large number of facts, duly observed, 
that a correct conclusion can be arrived at upon any subject. I simply 
record the facts, and my own impressions. Let each individual form for 
himself whatever opinion he may think the circumstances related will 
justify C. P. 

Rio de Janeiro, July 1, 1850. 

A Short Report upon Yellow Fever, as it Appeared in Brazil during the 
Summer of 1849 — 50. 

Yellow fever, hitherto unknown to physicians practicing in Brazil, made 
its appearance at Bahia in the month of October, 1849. At least two- 
thirds of the population were attacked by the disease, but in a very mild 
form ; for, probably, not more than two per cent, of the affected died. 

Of the English residents, 124 in number, 116 were attacked, and of 
these but three died, viz : a female domestic servant three to four months 
arrived from England, a child who accompanied her, but who had been in 
Brazil before, and a gentleman who had left England eighteen months be- 
fore, and had since resided either in Rio de Janeiro or Bahia. 

Far different was the aspect the disease wore on board of the foreign ships 
in port, the seamen belonging to which were, of course, all new comers. 
Of those attacked amongst the English seamen, more than thirty per cent, 
died, and I believe that during the height of the epidemic more than two 
thirds of the whole were affected. 

The disease presented the worst features exhibited by the yellow fever 
as it prevails at the West Indies, Sierra Leone and New Orleans; a bright 
or muddy-yellow color of the skin and conjunctiva, suppression of urine, 
haemorrhages from all parts of the body, black vomit, a putrid odor of the 
breath, and proceeding from the body generally, convulsive movements of 
the muscles and tetanic spasms, together with delirium, both violent and 
low, were common symptoms of the complaint. 

It was supposed by some that the disease was imported from New Or- 
leans, and by others from the coast of Africa, in a slaver ; but as far as I 
can learn, without any precise or direct evidence, to support such a posi- 
tion. Thus, Senor Jobim, doctor of medicine, and member of the Cham- 
ber of Deputies, in addressing the house, could adduce nothing more pos- 
itive than the following : "If he said "we attend particularly to the cir- 
cumstance of this vessel having arrived in the month of September, and 
that she must have left the city of New Orleans in July, and that at this 
epoch, every year, and in a constant manner, there reigns yellow fever, 
with its inseparable companion black vomit, we ought to conclude that, 
in effect, the disease was brought to us from there." 

On the 2nd of December, 1849, arrived in Rio de Janeiro, from Bahia, 
the American bark Navarre, in ballast, with a healthy crew, which were 
paid off and dispersed. Some of them went into other vessels and were 

154 Testimony of Dr. C. Pennell. 

no more heard of; others came on shore and took up their abode in the 
rua de Miseracordia. 

The first known case of yellow fever which existed in Rio de Janeiro 
occurred in the instance of a seaman belonging to this vessel, who was 
attacked and taken to the public hospital on December the 28th. The 
next case was that of a Danish sailor who was lodging within forty _ or 
fifty yards of the house where the first patient was taken from, and with 
whom he is stated to have had frequent intercourse. The following five or 
six cases all occurred in houses in the same neighborhood, while as yet 
there was no yellow fever in other parts of Rio de Janeiro. 

For from ten days to a fortnight the disease was confined to the rua de 
Misericordia and its purlieus, but eventually becoming general, both on 
shore and on the water, its spread was but in few instances traceable to 
infection, (see note at the end.) 

The locality which next became infected was the Saude, at exactly the 
opposite end of the city, about a mile and a half from the rua de Miseri- 
cordia. The Saude, for the most part, is only a little higher than the 
level of high water mark, and is but partially paved. The soil is clayey 
and intersected with open gutters. The surface being low, flat, and very 
uneven, affords a ready lodgment to small pools of water, which stagnate ; 
and as they contain a certain amount of black masses of decaying animal 
and vegetable matter, they at all times emit a most offensive odor. It is 
bounded on more than two sides by water, which daily, at low tide, leaves 
exposed an immense surface of a dark mud that produces a most loath- 
some smell. 

The yellow fever was unusually severe in this locality ; the acclimated 
foreigners suffering almost as much as those newly arrived, living in more 
healthy parts of the city. About the middle of February, the fever be- 
gan to rage epidemically on board of the foreign ships in port. 

In many instances, the newly affected had either been on shore, or 
were known to have had intercourse with the sick, but in others, and not 
a few, no communication, direct or indirect, was known to have occurred, 
nor, indeed, from circumstances of time and place, (as will be more par- 
ticularly mentioned hereafter,) could have taken place. It should, how- 
ever, be mentioned that the ships were anchored in groups, and that for 
the most part, forty or fifty yards was the distance which intervened be- 
tween each ship. 

Several masters of vessels, without being questioned, declared that they 
entered the harbor with fever on board ; although coming direct from 
Europe ; that as soon as they approached the coast, and came within 
the influence of the breezes from shore, their men fell sick with fever. 
Most of the cases were slight, but some were attended by black vomit, 
and proved fatal after their arrival in port. 

The population of Rio consists of probably more than 100,000 whites and 
of 200,000 blacks and mulattoes. The two latter classes were, perhaps, 
not so generally attacked as the first, and escaped with very few deaths. 
I attended in private practice upwards of one hundred blacks, without 

Testimony of Dr. C. Pennell. 155 

losing one. In the first class the mortality was considerable. The Bra- 
zilian Government published a statistical account, brought down to April 
30th in which the deaths from yellow fever were stated to be 3,522; but 
this was known to be short of the reality, which was estimated at 1 ^"^ 
by the most moderate. Certain it is that upwards of 1,00° Portuguese 
died in the hospitals alone, as shown by their o«" -^^"CS- 

The number of deaths given by th* ^ernment includes all nations. 
Probably three or four per cent -ould be too high an estimate of the 
deaths to the attacked £— f the Brazilians, more particularly, if we ex- 
clude natives ^ f -^cr and elevated parts of Brazil who had recently ar- 
rived »* SilV ' Of upwards of sixty, attended by me, not one died. For- 
,.giiers who were long acclimated suffered comparatively little, perhaps, 
not much more than natives. Amongst new comers the mortality was 
high. Of the seamen whom I attended, about 29 per cent, died; but as 
this calculation includes many cases first seen on the fourth, fifth or sixth 
day of disease, and in a hopeless condition, it does not give a fair idea of 
the mortality. Excluding these cases, I lost 22 per cent. 

The mortality was certainly not less among new comers on shore. The 
disease generally proved fatal on the fourth, fifth or sixth day, though 
some patients died within twenty-four hours of the attack, having been 
comatose nearly the whole of that time. 

The history of the epidemic seems to point out infection as the mode 
by which it was brought into this city ; and though the disease be of en- 
demic origin, it by no means follows that it may not under certain circum- 
stances become infectious. There are the strongest possible grounds for 
believing that H. B. M. ships Eden, Eclair, and others, contracted on the 
coast of Africa an endemic disease which afterwards spread by infection, 
not only among the crew, but also among the natives of healthy localities 
where they touched. It is perfectly well known that a disease not infec- 
tious in its nature may under certain conditions become so. Nay more, 
that under favorable circumstances, infectious diseases may arise among 
people previously healthy. If a number of persons be crowded in a con- 
fined space, with bad ventilation and unwholesome food, a fever will appear 
which is capable of spreading by infection in healthy regions. 

The remnant of Sir John More's followers, who escaped at Corunna, 
rushed in crowds on board of the small vessels in port. They had then 
no disease of an infectious nature ; they could hardly have carried any 
seeds of contagion with them, as they had been running for some days, 
continually washed by heavy falls of rain, and with hardly any clothes on 
their backs; yet typhus fever appeared on board of every vessel in which 
they embarked, and was communicated to their nurses and attendants in 

Now, if it be possible for infection to be generated do novo in Individ 

uals previously healthy, how much more likely is it to arise in persons 
similarly situated, but with the addition of a severe disease, particularly 
disposed to vitiate the secretions, and to produce foetid exhalations from 
the lungs and body generaWy . We have thus another source of disease 

156 Testimony of Dr. C. Pennell. 

superadded to the original, aggravating it, and perhaps converting a simple 
bilious remittent into the genuine yellow fever. 

It has certainly appeared to me that yellow fever is infectious ; and 
*bough believing it to be nothing more than a bad remittent, with infec- 
tion Su^g^^ j am una ki e t0 p rove j t? mr ther than will appear in the 
sequel. It is ^.: M -\ V ■ accordance with what is known of some other 

diseases, to suppose that . „ re bilious remittent, of endemic origin, 

may so far vitiate the secretions ana a_ v,lood, as to generate a source of 
infection which would propagate the di&^^ . an( j p ro bably under the 
form of yellow fever. 

Beyond the history which I have related of the comm^,.„^ ent f 
yellow fever in Rio de Janeiro, my own experience adds but litWi,, 
favor of infection, as the sole means by which it is propagated. It is, 
however, no easy matter to determine whether an epidemic, which is 
almost universal, spread by infection or otherwise ; in as much as every- 
one is more or less exposed to both sources of the disease, if they really 

The evidence that tends to prove that it is capable of arising without 
infection, is of a more positive kind. 

Numberless cases occurred where no source of infection whatever 
could be traced. 

The British schooner Zone, entered the Bay towards the end of Feb- 
ruary. She never came higher up the harbor than within a mile and 
a half of Villegagnon Fort, and no other vessel was anchored near her. 
The first case of fever which appeared on board, was in a man who had 
never left her, and who died with suppression of the urine and black 
vomit, &c, &c. 

The British barque Joliet Erskine, arrived direct from Cork on Decem- 
ber 25th, 1849. The mate left her but once to go to an island in the 
Bay, ( Ilha das Cobras,) where no case of fever had yet occurred ; nor 
did occur for many weeks afterwards. Five weeks after the only time 
he left the ship he was attacked by the fever, and died with black 
vomit, &c. 

The British brig Runnymede arrived on January 22d, 1850, with a 
cargo of codfish, from St. Johns. She lay too outside the harbor of 
Pernambuco, for about a day ; the captain went a shore in his boat, 
transacted some business, and then sailed for this port. She came down 
along the coast, and during the passage fever appeared among the crew, 
first affecting those who never quitted the vessel. I have this upon the 
positive assurance of the captain, who is an uninterested partv. I rnvself 
saw some cases ill at the time of her arrival here. It is "necessary to 
state that they were slight, none having proved fatal ; and resembled 
exactly the mild cases on shore. 

Several masters of vessels declared to me that, though coming direct 
from Europe, fever made its appearance on board of their ships as soon 
as they approached the coast of Brazil, and came within the influence of 
the breezes from the land. From the accounts which they give of it, it 

Testimony of Dr. C Pennell. 157 

appeared to be of the same kind as that which was prevailing at Rio, but 

It was by no means uncommon to see vessels arrive direct from 
Europe, with mild cases of fever on board. 

The town of Petropolis is situated at a height of nearly three thousand 
feet above the level of the sea. It is about thirty miles distant from the 
upper margin of the Bay, where yellow fever committed great ravages. 
In the month of February the thermometer ranges, from the hottest 
hour in the day to the coldest night, from about 68° F. to 80°. In the 
month of March, its range is from about 62° to 15° ; in April, 56° to 1 2°. 
In the coldest night in the depth of winter (July) the thermometer has 
occasionally been seen as low as 36° F. 

In order to escape the prevailing epidemic, many of the residents of 
Rio fled to Petropolis ; several, however, were attacked after their arrival 
there, and, I believe, in every instance within three or four days from the 
time of their departure from Rio. Of the number attacked, eleven died. 
Some of these deaths occurred in the months of February and March. 

The disease thus existed at Petropolis with sufficient violence to destroy 
a Wge proportional number of lives ; for it is believed that the eleven 
deaths formed a high rate of mortality compared with the number 
attacked. Tt is probable that at least seven persons held communication 
Avitheach lnai^uai who died, either as attendants, nurses, or in washing 
and burying him., so that we are thus presented with an instance of 
from seventy to eighty persons exposed to a virulent infection, if such it 
be, and singular to relaw no t one contracted the disease. Not a single 
resident of Petropolis caught *ne fever. 

The number, eighty, who communicated with the sick is evidently too 
small, in as much as there were many more ill who escaped, and who 
also had attendants, &c. If the disease only spread by its infectious 
properties, it is unaccountable why almost ev^ry ne exposed to this infec- 
tion in Rio should catch it, and not one -> u t of eighty or more at 
Petropolis. It cannot be explained by the diftt^nce of temperature for 
the atmosphere of Petropolis was then higher, boh by night and day 
than it is now in Rio de Janeiro, and still we havt many cases of the 
worst forms of yellow fever. 

In passing an opinion upon the nature of yellow fevtr, it should be 
observed that, when I commenced my observations upon ihe disease I 
had an inclination towards the opposite side of the question from that 
which I now entertain. It would therefore be unjust to declare that an 
original bias has governed my inquiries, and led me to the conclusion I 
have formed. The opinion, true or false, which I shall express, is that 
which appears to me inevitably to flow from the facts which I observed ; 
and if I have renounced my first impressions, it is only because experience 
has forced them from me. 

Never having seen yellow fever, till the begining of the present year ; 
guided only by authority, and placing most reliance upon the statements, 
arguments, and writings of Copland, Pym, &c. &c, I was inclined to 

158 Testimony of Dr. C. Pennell. 

espouse their view of the question. As a proof of this, I may state 
that in the beginning of the epidemic, I actually sent in a report to the 
British Consul at this city, stating my belief that there was then existing 
in Rio de Janerio, two different forms of fever; one the genuine yellow 
fever ; the other the ordinary bilious remittent. Not indeed that I, nor 
any one else, could distinguish between them at their commencement ; 
but, guided by the above named authorities, the severe cases were associ- 
ated with yellow fever, which they undoubtedly were ; while the milder 
ones were placed under the category of bilious remittent. Experience 
however, soon taught me that the distinction could never be maintained 
in practice, however beautiful it might be in theory. At their beginning 
no person could distinguish between the two forms of disease. The 
mild cases soon got well ; whereas the severe, in their progress, presented 
all the well marked features of yellow fever, and therefore were so called ; 
but had these same cases progressed favorably, and existed in any other 
year, no practitioner in Rio would have given them any other name than 
the common remittent of the country. 

The epidemic which raged in this city, had all the characters and 
pathognomonic symptoms of yellow fever, as described by Pym <* Q d 
Copland, and was beyond all doubt the same disease. Its his^ry does 
not bear out their assertions. They declare that the same iu^vidual can 
take it but once. I have attended the same persons dun'»g tw0 attacks, 
though a month or six weeks of excellent health intervened between 
them. I have also treated patients who were pron^nced by practitioners 
in the West Indies, and on the coast of Af^a, to have suffered from 
yellow fever in these localities ; though J have likewise known others 
who attributed the immunity they enjoyed, to a previous attack in one of 
the above named places. 

They state that acclimation wakes no difference in the severity of the 
complaint.* This was remf kably contradicted by the history of the 
prevailing epidemic. Bra^bans, and acclimated foreigners, who were 
nearly on a par with thfA suffered but little ; whilst in new comers, it 
proved fatal to about tfirty per cent, of the attacked. 

Thirdly, they sta* 3 that blacks, though little liable to contract the 
disease, if attacked, suffer as much as whites. Nearly all the blacks in 
Rio de Janeiro had the disease ; and I believe that if we were to estimate 
the deaths (deluding old and new comers,) at two per cent., it would be 
higher than the reality. 

In the bilious remittent of Rio, the mode of attack, the position of 
the pains, and the state of the pulse and tongue, are highly characteristic. 
The prevailing epidemic preserved these features in a most singular 
manner, and with but little variation. 

I believe the diseases are essentially the same ; they begin in the same 
manner, they have the same diagnostic symptoms, and no one can 

*Pym differs upon this point, from Copland and the writers who otherwise hold similar views 
upon the nature of yellow fever. 

Testimony of Dr. C Pennell. 159 

distinguish between them, except by their severity ; a difference which 
may arise from a more intense form of the disease, or from a superadded 
poison, as already mentioned. With the exception of black vomit, I 
have not, in the prevailing epidemic, seen a single symptom which I have 
not also frequently witnessed in the common remittent of the country. 

In no other way, than by supposing the disease to be of endemic 
origin, can it be explained how natives, and the acclimated, suffered so 
little. Yellow fever was never known in Brazil before ; and was therefore 
equally ^ new to them and to those recently arrived. The former 
have evidently all their lives, or during the period of acclimation, been 
breathing a marshy, or any other endemic poison you please, in a diluted 
state, and consequently suffered less from a more intense dose. The 
poison had for years been incorporated with their system. In no other 
way, than by supposing it to be of endemic origin, can it be explained 
how ships came into port, direct from Europe, with this identical fever 
on board. 

The spread of the fever, except in the first instance, could not be 
traced to infection.* Many people carried it with them to Petropolis, 
and eleven died there, but it did not communicate to a single resident. 
Many individuals took it with them to Tijuca, (about forty miles from 
Rio, at an elevation of eight hundred feet above the level of the sea,) and 
other elevated spots, but in no instance communicated it to the residents 
at these places. Many persons in the country around Rio caught the 
fever, though they had no communication, direct nor indirect, with the 
sick. Several of the cases presented well marked and regular remissions, 
while others left behind them a remittent form of disease, generally 
curable by quinine ; and all which were of long continuance, produced 
the same effects upon the body, and the health generally, as the ordinary 
remittent of the country. 

Finally, it prevails especially in those localities, and only there, where 
bilious remittent is common. 

In conclusion I may repeat my belief, that the disease is very capable 
of spreading by infection, or of being carried by this means from one 
place to another, (see note at the end,) but perhaps only under favorable 

It is a curious circumstance, and may perhaps tend to elucidate the 
origin of yellow fever in Brazil, without having resource to a specific 
source of infection, that for the last few years the fevers of the country, 
evidently not infectious, but of high temperature or marsh origin, have 
clearly been changing their characters. The genuine remittent has 
been but little seen for the last three years. In 1847, '48 and '49 it 
was replaced by a fever of its own class ; popularly known by the name 
of Polka ; but in reality are mittent, and during the present year it has 
been replaced by the yellow fever, a disease also with similar features. 

*Evpn in the first instance it may reasonably be doubted whether the disease was propagated 
by infection or not. Certainly the proofs are by no means conclusive. 

160 Testimony of Dr. C. Pennell. 

Coincident with these and other changes in the diseases of Brazil, 
the climate in its broad features has altered strangely. 

Thunder storms, formerly of daily occurrence at a certain hour 
during the summer, are now but seldom heard ; and old residents 
declare that the seasons are no longer such as they remember them 
to have been. The less tangible changes have not been noted nor ob- 

In 1689 a very fatal epidemic raged at Pernambuco. Medical men 
of the present day believe that it was yellow fever ; but the only imper- 
fect accounts of it which I have seen did not produce upon me that 

It appears that an epidemic, said to have been yellow fever, prevailed 
on the coast of Brazil from 1744 to 1748. There is no record of its 
ever having returned in a subsequent year. 

Yellow fever no longer exists, I believe, on shore in Rio de Janeiro, 
but it still hovers about the ships in harbor. Within the last week at 
least fifteen seamen have died of the disease. 

It is difficult to say what will be the future course of the malady 
with respect to Brazil. There is no reason to suppose that it will 
behave differently from what it has done in other intertropical coun- 
tries where it has been once introduced, viz : that for many years it 
will annually occur, sporadically at least, principally affecting new 
comers; and in occasional years that it will prevail in an epidemic form. 

Note. — The word infection has so many different significations 
attached to it, that it is necessary to explain the sense in which it has 
been used in the foregoing observations. 

Infection is a generic term, and simply implies a morbific cause 
capable of tainting or infecting the body, although it has frequently 
been erroneously used to imply the mode of infection. 

Infection represents a genus, and contagion, contamination, morbid 
impression are species arranged under it, or modes by which the body 
becomes infected. 

The word infection has thus been used in the most extended sense 
of the term; but when it is stated that the spread of the disease either 
could, or could not be traced to infection, it is of course understood 
from one individual to another, but without implying the mode. In- 
deed, I have refrained entirely from discussing the question of the 
mode of infection, from not being furnished with data that would 
warrant any positive conclusion upon the subject. 

If asked my opinion as to the manner in which infection may be 
supposed to have caused the disease to spread : I can only answer 
that, no facts have fallen under my own observation that prove contact 
with the sick to be necessary, or that the disease is strictly contagious. 
It appears to act in this manner ; a healthy individual enters the apart- 
ment of a man laboring under yellow fever, he breathes an atmosphere 
impregnated with the expired air and the exhalations of the sick, and 
shortly suffers from a similar disease. 

Testimony of Dr. C. Penncll. 1G1 

From this naturally arises another question, viz : is that sick apart- 
ment under all circumstances capable of propagating the disease? 
The instances cited of Tijuca and Petropolis certainly prove that it 
is not, even under the favoring circumstance of a high temperature. 
Coupling this, therefore, with the fact that, at the best, infection is only 
capable of propagating the disease in a climate and atmosphere kindred 
to those in which it originated, it may reasonably be doubted whether 
in truth the disease is not a product of the locality itself. 

Notwithstanding that the disease seemed to originate in an infected 
individual (from Bahia) communicating it to another, and so on, it did 
not appear chiefly, if at all, to spread by that means. 

The man on board the Zone, for example, contracted the disease 
without ever having been near an infected individual. It is easy, 
however, to understand that, seeing so many thousands were suffering 
from yellow fever, the whole atmosphere of the bay may have been so 
tainted by the exhalations from the sick as to be capable, by virtue of 
this cause alone, of propagating the disease ; and this would be as truly 
an instance of infection, as if the sick and the healthy had mingled 
more closely. 

Finally, from the known history of yellow fever and from the facts 
recorded in the foregoing pages, the following propositions seem highly 

That bilious remittent and yellow fever exist only under similar 
conditions of locality and climate. 

That they are essentially the same disease. 

That yellow fever is the most intense form of bilious remittent. 
That this intensity arises by virtue of a series of causes, which at the 
same time, impart to it the property of communicating itself, under 
favorable circumstances, from the sick to the healthy. 

That these causes are, a more than usually unhealthy season pro- 
ducing severe cases of bilious remittent, that these cases, either from a 
vitiated atmosphere, bad ventilation, or crowding of the sick, assume 
an adynamic type (which all diseases under similar circumstances are 
prone to assume, and though not infectious they then usually become 
so), and upon this change of type they acquire the property of infection. 

That yellow fever may therefore arise, without any specific source 
of infection, in countries where bilious remittent is common ; but that 
this event seldom occurs except in the most unhealthy localities, as 
New Orleans, the Coast of Africa, &c, &c, from causes not being 
sufficiently intense to produce the necessary change of type. 

That infection once produced can propagate the disease in climates 
similar, though less unhealthy than those producing it. 

That the causes which convert bilious remittent into yellow fever 
do not exist in sufficient intensity in Brazil to produce the change of 
type, and that, therefore, for the production of yellow fever in Rio the 
importation of an infected individual is necessary. (This proposition 
admits of great doubt.) 

162 Testimony of Dr. JR. Lallemant. 

That although the climate, &c, of Rio is hardly capable of pro- 
ducing yellow fever, it is highly favorable to the spread of imported 
infection. , 

That the history of the disease in Rio affords no proof that contact 
with the sick or their bedding, &c, is necessary for the propagation 
of the disease, but that if infection was at all instrumental in causing 
the disease to spread, it acted by tainting the atmosphere breathed by 
the healthy. , ... 

That an infected ship or infected bedding cannot convey the disease 
from one locality to another, and that for this purpose there must be 
imported an individual laboring under the disease at the time of im- 


Rio de Janeiro, February 19, 1854. 

Rio de Janeiro is situated in a flat plain, with some rocky hills ; 
surrounded by mountains of 1,500 to 2,000 feet in height. The 
surface soil is sandy and muddy. Drinking water in general is of 
the best quality, coming from granite mountains. 

There has been no particular disturbance of the soil. The paving of 
streets always is more or less in disorder ; but it is better now than 
before, (where yellow fever never was prevailing in Rio de Janeiro.) 
With regard to rivers, bayous, swamps, marshes, stagnant lakes or pools 
of water, &c , the question is investigated in the German pamphlet. 

As to drainage, accumulation, &c , see my German pamphlet. 

I have not observed any remarkable change in the weather during the 
existence of the fever ; nor was there any marked change in the animal 
or vegetable kingdoms prior to or during the epidemic ; such as the 
blighting of fruit, the inordinate prevalence of flies, musquetoes, &c. , the 
death of animals ; no unusual occurrence of mould. 

The population of Rio de Janeiro is 277,000. The first case of 
yellow fever was on the 28th of December, 1849. For the succeeding 
cases, see both German and Portuguese pamphlets. The first case was 
imported here from Bahia. I believe the fever to have made its pro- 
gress from direct intercourse . Do not know of any case which appeared 
to have originated spontaneously before the arrival of the " Navarre." 
Afterwards there were several. Relative to the spread of the disease, 
cause, &c, see my German and Portuguese pamphlets. 

The new comers, between the ages of fifteen and thirty years, of 
intemperate life, exposing themselves to sunshine, rain, evenino- air, &c, 
have suffered most from this disease, both with regard to attacks and 
mortality. For acclimated people it was rather different, if they lived 
in crowded lodgings or not. For the prominent symptoms, progress, 
duration and termination of the cases occurring under my observation, 
see the exact exposition in my Portuguese pamphlet. 

Testimony of Dr. JR. Lallemant. 163 

Q — Did other types of fever prevail at the same time, &c. 
A.— Every fever had the beginning of yellow fever, or could assume it 
immediately. (See the " causes of yellow fever" in my pamphlets.) 

The propagation of the disease from exposure, either to an infected 
atmosphere, to personal communication with the sick, or contact with 
goods or clothing, either of the sick, or transmitted from a locality con- 
sidered infected ; what time intervenes between said exposure and the 
appearance of premonitory symptoms, and also the development of the 
disease, is uncertain. I believe from one day to forty days. The 
" Navarre" sailed from Bahia to Rio de Janeiro the 20th of Novem- 
ber, and the first sailor with yellow fever was observed in my ward of 
the Misericordia Hospital the 28th of December. 
Q- — Do I regard the epidemic as true yellow fever ? 
A. — 0, yes ; exactly. 
Q — Have I ever seen this disease before ? 
A. — Never. 

I have seen some hundred cases and more of black vomit. I have 
also seen a number of recoveries thereafter — exceptional cases. Of real 
yellow fever, I have seen but very few cases of second or third attacks. 

In general, death occurs on the seventh or ninth day ; but death comes 
on at every day. 

The disease sometimes exists in the rural districts ; but in general it 
is conveyed there from the city. The mountains were entirely exempt 
of yellow fever. 

_ The form of this fever was so particular, that I recognized it imme- 
diately as a new form, in the first two cases at the Misericordia Hospital 
on the 20th of December, 1849. 

The newly imported Africans never showed yellow fever before the 
general epidemic ; but when the fever spread, it fell upon the unaccli- 
mated people in the town. In this case they had the same symptoms of 
fever as others — general symptoms, gastritis, black vomiting, yellow 
color, haemorrhage, suppression of urine, &c. 


Translated from Observacbes dcercada Epidemia de Febre Amarella do 
anno de 1850 no Rio de Janeiro, colhidas nos hospital se na policlinica 
pelo Dr. Roberto Lallemant, Bio de Janeiro, 1,851. 

[transmitted to the sanitary commission by the authob.] 

The commencement of the second half of the present century, is 
impressed in very mournful characters in the pages of Brazilian 
history. A fatal epidemic afflicted nearly the whole coast of this vast 
continent, thus spreading woe and mourning among all classes of 
society, not only that of Brazil, but also the remote shores of Europe 
and North America. 

In order to explain the origin of this epidemic, as it was observed 

164 Testimony of Dr. B. Lallemant. 

in Rio Janerio, it is necessary to mention that on the 13th of Decem- 
ber, 1849, the war-steamer Affonso arrived from Bahia de San Salva- 
dor, bringing intelligence that the second city of the Empire was 
suffering severely from an epidemic, by which from thirty to forty 
persons a day were being attacked. That the disease only slightly 
affected natives and acclimated foreigners, but was very fatal among 
those who had recently arrived in the country. 

On the following day, the Portuguese corvette D. Jo'ao I, arrived from 
the same port, bringing two hundred and nine soldiers, besides her 
regular crew. Five of those who left in her had been attacked on the 
voyage, of whom two had died. The corvette was put under quar- 

On the 24th of December, the English packet Petrel, entered from 
England, via Pernambuco and Bahia, and brought some sick on board, 
of whom two died while she was in port. 

But neither these ships, nor these sick people, at least apparently, 
had any influence on the state of health in the city of Rio Janeiro. 
The danger came from another quarter. The infection was already 
lurking among us before we received the first notice of the epidemic at 

The American bark Navarre, Capt. Littley, with a crew of nine 
men, had left Bahia in the latter part of November, and arrived at 
Rio Janeiro on the third of January, after a voyage of twelve days. 
As up to that time, there had been no appearence of the epidemic at 
Bahia, the vessel was admitted to free pratique ; the captain sold the 
vessel, and the crew dispersed. Some of these sailors went to the 
boarding-house of an American named Franck, in Misericordia street. 
When on the 28th of December, I paid a visit in the infirmary for 
foreigners, in the Misericordia Hospital, my attention was especially 
directed to two fresh sick patients whose disease appeared to me to 
be of a peculiar character. In the series of pathological symptoms, 
the most prominent were the yellow color of the conjunctiva and skin, 

strong vomitings of dark colored liquid, hiccoughs, suppression of 

urine ; and haemorrhage from the mouth and anus, delirium, &c. 

These two sick persons were : 

1st. — Euquist, a youth from Finland, who had arrived directly thence 

at this port, some fourteen days previously, in the Russian brig Wolga. 
2d. — Anderson, a native of Sweden, but sent to the hospital with a 

certificate from the American Consul, and previously staying atFranck's 


The first of these died during the following night ; the other forty 

hours afterwards. And on the 30th of December, I declared that both 

these cases were to be considered very suspicious, representing them 

as yellow fever. 

My diagnosis appeared inconsistent to some ; imprudent to others. 

And as on the following days, no similar case occurred, I myself had 

nearly forgotten theBe two particular cases. 

Testimony of Dr. R. Lallernant. 165 

But on the 4th of January, another patient appeared. 

3d. — Alexander Wilson, with some suspicious symptoms. Having 
asked him most particularly whence he came, he informed me that he 
was a sailor from the American bark Hercules, which had come direct 
from Philadelphia to Rio de Janeiro, and he had been staying at 
Franck's house. On the 9th of January, Wilson had recovered and 
left the hospital. 

4th. — Josiah Baker, an American sailor, came on the 5th of Janu- 
ary to the hospital, with nearly the same symptoms as patients Nos. 1 
and 2. Great was my astonishment when this patient asked how was 
Anderson, who had died six days previously. Baker told me that 
they were both from the same ship — the American bark Navarre — 
and that both had been stopping at Franck's place. But the state of 
his illness was such as prevented him from giving me fuller explana- 
tions. Baker died forty hours after his admission, with the same symp- 
toms as his unfortunate companion, No. 2. 

I then proceeded to the American Consulate, to see if I could col- 
lect any information about these Americans ; and Mr. Raynsford, Sec- 
retary of the said consulate, informed me that the Navarre arrived at 
Bahia on the 3d of December. The other bark, the Hercules, had 
landed some sailors, who had been guilty of mutiny so far as to 
wound the captain with a knife ; three of these put up at Franck's. 

Proceeding, immediately to Franck's tavern, I found, however, no 
other patient there. 

But on the 7th of January there came to the hospital : 

5th. — Matthew Donelson, an American, a seaman from the Hercules, 
and who, like the patient No. 3, had been stopping at Franck's. 
Even at some distance off, the particular character of his illness was 
plain. Matthew Donelson died forty-four hours after entering the 

Making then a fresh search at Franck's tavern, on the 7th of Jan- 
uary, I discovered two more sick : 

6th. — Thomas Lemerton, an American, with the disease completely 
developed, and a very much enlarged spleen, which was the conse- 
quence of previous fevers on the coast of Africa. 

7th. — H. Marshall, an American, just beginning to be affected by 
the disease. 

I sent both to the hospital on the instant. Patient No. 6 died in 
forty-eight hours ; Marshall left, cured, after twelve days treatment. 

On the 8th of January, I met in my infirmary : 

8th. — William Hamilin, an American sailor, staying at Franck's 
house, with the fever commencing on him. He left on the 12th of 
January, but returned eight days afterwards with very copious black 
vomit on him, and died twenty-four hours afterwards. 

9th. — Meogy, an American, a sailor from the bark Hercules, like 
patients Nos. 3 and 5, staying at Franck's house, was attacked at the 
tavern on the 8th of January, but as he did not wish to go to the hos- 

166 Testimony of Dr. R. Lallemant. 

pital, I attended him at Franck's. Meogy recovered, in five days. 

Opposite Franck's place, and in the immediate neighborhood, there 
were two other sailors' ' boarding-houses ;' one kept by an Englishman 
named Wood, the other by a Frenchman, named Auguste Hourde. 
In both some sailors were stopping. All these sailors went from one 
tavern to the other. And on the same 8th of January, there came to 
the hospital, 

10th. — Thomas Fox, an English seaman, staying at Wood's, with 
the same symptoms of fever ; but he left my infirmary on the 12th, 

11th. — Robert Luff, an Englishman, who had resided many years in 
Brazil, a vagrant, and habitual drunkard, stopping at Wood's ; he was 
attacked on the 8th of January, entered the hospital on the 10th, with 
the fever fully developed on him, and died in forty-eight hours. 

These two cases induced me to go to Wood's place also, and there 
I found, 

12th.— Wood himself. 

13th. — Wood's wife, and 

14th. — Lerschan, their clerk, a German, who had had the fever in 
a very light form. 

The last, as he himself informed me, still continued low and weak, 
but convalescent. 

15th. — Auguste Hourde, the keeper of the third sailors' tavern, en- 
tered my infirmary on the 3d of January, with very slight fever ; on 
the 5th, feeling himself better, he asked permission to leave ; on the 
14th, he returned with a strong fever and died on the 20th. 

16th. — The wife of Hourde" was attacked lightly with the fever on 
the 17th of January, and was cured by the 21st of the same month. 

17th. — A French sailor, whose name I do not remember, was at- 
tacked also in Hourde's house, and at the same time ; after a few 
days he also recovered. 

18th. — Washington Sands, a man of color, an American seaman, 
staying at Wood's, was attacked on the 10th of January; entered the 
hospital on the 12th, with a violent fever; got better, and left on the 
18th, with eyes very yellow. 

19th. — Lawrence Latrow, an American sailor, stopping at Franck's 
house. I found this patient on the 13th of January, at 9 o'clock at 
night, nearly moribund, at the said tavern, having already been sick 
some three days; I sent him immediately to the hospital; some hours 
afterwards he died. 

20th. — Joseph Patrick Rogers, an American sailor, stopping at 
Franck's house; attacked with the fever; came to my infirmary on the 
17th of January, and died on the 20th of the same month. 

Before continuing this enumeration, I will now make some observa- 
tions on patient No. 1 ; Euquist ; whose case appears to be isolated 
in our series of patients. 

Testimony of Dr. R. Lallemant. 107 

Euquist arrived direct from Finland at Rio de Janeiro ; stopped on 
Castello Hill, just in the rear of Franck's house, at a height of about 
twenty or thirty feet ; coming down from his house to go to the store 
of Santa Luzia, he had to pass by Franck's house. There was always 
there some Swede or another, as, for example, patient No. 2, Ander- 
son, with whom Euquist himself came to the Misericordia Hospital ; 
there the Finlander could hear his native tongue spoken ; and that 
was, besides, the only tavern in the city, in which Swedish was spoken. 
Nobody doubted that Euquist had communication with Franck's house. 

In the last days of his life, Euquist had frequently been on board 
the Russo-Finnish ships, anchored in the port ; until he himself had 
been attacked in one of them, being carried home sick. And eight 
days after his death, the yellow fever suddenly broke out with violence 
on board two of these Finnish ships, the Noma and the Niord ; there 
died about this time, a captain, a pilot, and a sailor ; and, by the 10th 
of January, some sick sailors in these ships, and a Swede, from the 
Swedish bark Scandia, were taken to my infirmary at the Misericordia 

And yet further; in Misericordia street, between the taverns of 
Hourde and Wood, and exactly opposite that of Franck, was the house 
of a German merchant, whose daughter, married to a fellow country- 
man, had returned some weeks previously from Hamburg, in the ship 
Marie Christine, of Altona. There came in company with this lady, 
a German girl named Amalia Elizabeth Peersmann ; the family stopped 
at Pharoux Hotel, but it was their custom to dine in Misericordia street. 
The servant fell sick on the 8th of January, and died in Misericordia 
street, on the 13th, with the strongest symptoms of yellow fever. 

From the beginning of January, the sailors of the ship Marie Chris- 
tine, daily visited the house in Misericordia street, opposite Franck's 
tavern, and several of the sailors of this same ship fell sick. 

From on board of this ship, as on board the Russian ones, and the 
Swedish one above mentioned, among whose crews the germs of the 
disease were already sown, some of the sailors went every day to 
buy fresh meat at the house of Mr. Christian Hess, on the beach of 
D. Manoel, and suddenly the German clerk of this house, named 
Christian, from Petropolis, and who sold the meat to the sailors, was 
attacked with the fever in its most violent form ; but on the 14th of 
January, six days after the disease assailed him, he was out of danger, 
and by the end of three weeks had recovered. 

Finding myself thus, on the 8th of January, surrounded by a num- 
ber of patients who nearly all exhibited to me, more or less, the 
most certain indications of yellow fever, I judged it my sacred duty 
to make a communication to the competent authorities, declaring that 
there was the greatest certainty of the existence of yellow fever at 
Rio de Janeiro. 

The government ordered the Imperial Academy of Medicine to be 
convened, in order to examine into the facts. My diagnosis met an 

168 Testimony of Dr. R. Lallemant. 

almost general opposition, because the cases reported had occurred 
almost exclusively in my practice ; rather reluctantly Dr. Feital 
related the case of a patient from the steamer D. Pedro, which had 
arrived from Bahia, who died on the 29th of December, in the Marine 

The Academy nominated a committee, who presented a report 
upon the cases. This committee expressed itself with much greater 
caution upon the assumption that my observations were adapted to my 

But if the cases which had occurred up to that time had still not 
convinced the physicians and the Imperial Academy of Medicine of 
the existence of yellow fever in the capital of the Empire, the cases of 
the following days could not be denied. 

On the 17th of January, there entered my infirmary, three patients 
from the Russian schooner Noma ; four from the Swedish brig Alf- 
hild ; three from the Danish galley Marie Christine ; one from the 
Russian schooner Niord ; all laboring under the same symptoms. In 
Misericordia street, and in the lanes of the vicinity, many cases had 
also occurred ; and at the next meeting of the Academy, a member 
commenced his speech with the following words : 

"Mr. President: — I believe there is no physician in the Academy 
who is not convinced that yellow fever exists in Rio de Janeiro." 

Thus originated the yellow fever in Rio de Janeiro in the year 1850. 

If we desire to pay any respect to passionate contagionists, we must 
confess that the yellow fever came from Bahia, in the American 
bark Navarre. The sailors of that vessel were attacked in Misericor- 
dia street, in Franck's house ; nearly all the other inmates of the house 
were attacked; those staying at Wood's and Hourde's, who had com- 
munication with Franck's house, were attacked ; some of the visitors 
at Franck's house and Misericordia street carried the fever to the port, 
and the disease spread by sea and by land. 

It may here be said, that when the Navarre left Bahia, there was as 
yet no yellow fever in that city. The first news of the existence of 
an epidemic at that port, came by the war steamer Affonso, on the 
13th of December; and the steamer had made the voyage in a few 
days. The Navarre had entered the port on the 3d of December, 
having left Bahia on the 24th of November ; that is, at least fifteen 
days before the war steamer, and she brought no intelligence of the 
existence of such an epidemic. 

I have the deepest conviction that the fever had already existed for 
some weeks at Bahia when the steamer brought us the news about it. 
It appears to me very suspicious that this bark should have a crew of 
nine men, and that she should be so quickly, and, as it were, so mys- 
teriously sold. If the epidemic at Bahia took the same course as it 
did at Rio de Janeiro, (and it appears that they were both entirely 
similar,) it is certain that when the steamer D. Affonso left Bahia, the 
epidemic had already existed at least five or six weeks previously. It 

Testimony of Br. R. Lallemant. 169 

would only appear that the physicians of Bahia did not observe the first 
commencement of it with sufficient attention ; or that they did not at- 
tach sufficient importance to the first cases, especially those that resulted 
in death. And it very much surprised me that even in the official report 
of the President of Bahia, of the 1st of January, no certain informa- 
tion, or scientific expression, at out the epidemic, was to be read ; 
while in Rio de Janeiro, a few cases sufficed to diagnosticate to us 
with certainty the yellow fever, in the very first days of its appear- 

On the other hand, I confess that it is much easier to discover the 
first appearance of an epidemic in a city, when it is already known 
that a great proportion of sickness exists in another; the attention of the 
faculty being thus awakened and prepared to make observations, even 
before there is, as yet, any subject for observation. And further ; I was 
exceedingly fortunate in happening to meet with the first cases, whose 
origin and connection were so free from all doubt; as first cases are 
observed in very few epidemics. I have, therefore, enumerated them 
with some particularity. 

Aspect of the City and of the Port at the time of the Epidemic. 

By the middle of January, it became impossible to register the 
cases of the epidemic. The disease was already let loose, and had 
already commenced its terrible expedition through the streets. 

At first it proceeded very slowly ; but it went with firm step, as it 
were, from one house to another, from one lane to another ; and in 
the houses and the lanes attacking one person after another; and while 
the whole quarter about Misericordia street and the beach of D. Ma- 
noel was suffering a general havoc, S. Jose street scarcely suffered as 
far as Quitanda street. It extended itself very slowly through the 
beaches. The Prainha, the Sande beach, the Gamboa beach, the Sacco 
do Alferes, furnished their proportion of victims ; as far as the sea- 
coast, cleaner than the city, the Flamengo beach, the Cattete beach, 
and Botafogo, also furnished some cases. Thus the disease formed a 
narrow cordon round the city, through the tortuous beaches. Sud- 
denly its march became very rapid. From Direita street, as far as 
the Acclamacao field, the yellow fever swept the long streets of the 
capital ; and cequo pede pulsat pauperum tabernas ditiumque turres. 
It attacked all without ceremony, prostrated all on beds of suffering ; 
there were houses in which not an individual escaped the attack; no 
age, no station, no sex, was privileged or exempted. But, strange to 
say, if the epidemic in this respect made no distinctions, if it thus ob- 
served the most genuine socialism, true communism, its formidable 
companion, death, was much more eclectic, much more capricious. 

Death despised the colored slaves ; it scarcely took a victim from 

the mixed race ; but it delighted in satiating itself with Brazilians of 

purely European origin. And the mortality increased according to 

these conditions. By as much less as the individual was acclimated; 


1*70 Testimony of Dr. R. Lallemanl. 

by as much the farther North as he had come from ; by as much the 
more full of health, youth, strength and color, he appeared, by so 
much the more easily he sickened, and sickening, died. 

Very well written was an address, in the Diario de Rio, made to 
the inhabitants, by the Committee of Health, nominated by the Gov- 
ernment, and composed of physicians whose names, without the least 
doubt, are those of the highest reputation among us. They very well 
explained that Brazilians had very little to fear, although they might 
be attacked in large numbers, and though foreigners were dying. 
The committee were entirely right ; every thing they said was correct, 
only it was a little too patriotic : they said, " You, foreigners, have 
to die!" 

And die they did ! 

It is difficult, and almost impossible, to say which of the foreign 
nations suffered most ; as it also is difficult to say how many individuals, 
belonging to each one of them, there is in Rio de Janeiro. 

A considerable number of French and Italians died. Certain 
classes of those nations were chiefly attacked. There was some time, 
during which, not a single vender of plaster statuary was seen, no 
vender of pans and kettles, no rainy-weather-hat peddlers. The 
Italian Opera was closed ; and some members of the company will 
never be heard again. A company of posturers and equestrians was 
cruelly ravaged, so that the horses were almost the only creatures that 
escaped death. It appears to me that artists and priests of the temple 
of the muses were the very worst sufferers without doubt, in conse- 
quence of the misery that accompanies artistic and poetic life in Rio 
de Janeiro. 

And how many laboring Portuguese colonists succumbed ? There 
were houses in which entire families disappeared ; and as men gen- 
erally sickened and died more easily than woman and children, many 
women were unhappily left widows and many children orphans. 

Commerce also contributed her quota of patients and deaths. There 
were commercial houses which for a longer or shorter period were 
entirely closed. " I am the only one in the house at this moment not 
sick. " Thus wrote, one day, a bookkeeper of a German house to 
Europe, and in a short time afterwards he himself died. 

It appeared as if the Germans and English had some stronger vital 
power ot resistance than other nations, as also that in general those 
from the sea coasts and low places were not so likely to succumb as 
those from the interior of continents and from the higher mountains. 

The death of three youths attached to foreign diplomatic corps, 
formed a sad catastrophe in the career of the epidemic. Mr. Morgan, 
Secretary to the American Legation, was married and a very amiable 
man. His friend, Sr. Serra, Secretary to the French Legation, did 
not abandon him on his death bed ; — he sickened and died himself a 
short time afterwards. The third, Sr. Stramazzi, had arrived at Rio 
de Janeiro about a year previous, in company with Sr. Bedini. 

Testimony of Dr. R. Lallemant. lYl 

And did Brazilian statesmen at the same time suffer less than others ? 
The history of Brazil has yet for a long time to look back with grief 
upon the months of March, April and May. Death entered the cham- 
ber of deputies ; introduced itself into the venerable ranks of the senate, 
and boldly took a seat in the midst of the council of his Imperial 

The months of March, April and May, were the most terrible in the 
mournful course of the epidemic; the funeral knell no longer tolled the 
burial of the christian ; even the bell which accompanied the most 
holy host through the streets to call the attention and respect of the 
people was mute ! In fine, the rites of worship in the churches were 
suspended ; everything was suspended ; to death alone there was no 
suspension ! ! ! 

The corpses could no longer be contained in the churches; and I 
shall never forget the sad impression I felt when I sometimes encoun- 
tered a perfect line of funeral corteges proceeding along the road to 
Catumby ; when I saw carriages returning in shameless disorder and 
in a great hurry in order to go and seek more customers; for in those 
days even with death a true speculation was made, and undertakers 
profited by the general calamity. 

Thus was human nature prostrated to the dust ; thus did the hand 
of God press upon us ; thus, however great and elevated he was, or 
however poor and humble, all said : " we are dust ; we are a shadow." 

What, without the least doubt, created great terror, was the abso- 
lute prohibition of the daily publication of the number of deaths. In 
a time of general calamity all men are pessimists ; everything is ex- 
aggerated by the imagination. So also was the mortality at Rio de 
Janeiro. The public was suffering; that everybody knew; but the 
right of knowing how much it was suffering, was denied to the pub- 
lic; this was unjust, and not very philosopical. 

The daily number of deaths was exceedingly exaggerated, by the 
imagination ; the greater part of the inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro 
estimated the daily mortality at three or four times above what it 
really was. When five or six persons died on the Island of Bour-Jesus, 
it was said in the city that it was thirty or forty. 

This mysterious silence made every thing a cause for fear. On each 
side of every door a dead body was seen ; when the sun fell upon a 
house, and the windows were shut, it was concluded that there was a 
corpse in the room; when a man was seen running through the 
streets, it was inferred that he was hastening for a physician, or a priest 
for some dying victim. If the number of deaths had been published 
every day, I am convinced that all would have said; "still it might 
be much worse;" and, as I saw the cholera rage in two European 
cities, I, myself, say, " the mortaliy might, indeed, be much worse." 

It was not only the city that presented a sad aspect of this character; 
the picture offered by the port was also black and terrible. 

The epidemic followed the same course in spreading through the 

172 Testimony of Dr. R. Lallemant. 

port, as it did on shore. It reached one ship after another, in such 
a manner that, sometimes passing along the port, I could tell from its 
propinquity to an infected ship, which would be the next to send me 

In the short space of two months, the following vessels sent sick to 
my infirmary, on the Island of Bour-Jesus : 

Noma, under the Russian flag ; Niord, ditto; Scandia, Swedish ; 
Marie Christine, Danish ; Alf hild, Swedish ; Elizabeth, Danish ; Maria, 
Russian ; Helsingfors, ditto ; Louisa, ditto ; Vestalniden, Swedish ; 
Panama, English ; Adami, Russian ; Hans, Russian ; Brave, Swedish ; 
Frode, Danish; Niord,* ditto; Leao, Portuguese; Tentadora, ditto; 
St. Marie, American ; Emma et Mathilde, French ; Crown, English ; 
Tarujo 1st, Portuguese; Hebe, Swedish; Indus, American; Ocean, 
Swedish ; Otto, Danish ; Itham, English ; Mathilde et Louise, Dutch ; 
Louisiana, American ; Industrioso, Sardinian; Precursore, ditto ; Leva- 
illant, French; National, Belgium; Marie Phoebe, American; Kesi- 
stencia, Sardinian ; Industrial, Belgiam ; Alexandre, French ; Martha, 
American ; Swea, Swedish ; Bassermann, Bremen ; Magnus, Swedish ; 
Van Dyck, Belgian ; Adelaide. Swedish ; Superior, ditto ; Staaderath 
Forraeus, ditto ; Esperanza, Honoverian; Sanspareil, English; Leoni- 
de, Swedish ; Jone, American ; Daphne, Swedish ; Darien, English ; 
Elizabeth, American; Carlisle, Hamburg ; Seagull, Swedish or Nor- 
wegian ; Corinthianer, Danish ; Uncas, American ; Volatrice, Sardin- 
ian ; Zelia, ditto ; Francisco Catharina, ditto ; Roscia, ditto ; Valentino, 
ditto ; Haparanda, Swedish ; Othello, ditto ; Magnus,f ditto : Sidon, 
ditto; General Rowarino, Sardinian; Firmeza, Portuguese; Columbo, 
Sardinian ; Olga, Russian ; Resoluto, Sardinian : Thomas Clarke, 
American ; Odin, Danish ; Jenny, Swedish ; a steamer, American ; 
Preciosa, Russian; Tuydo, ditto; Soumalane, ditto; Carolina, Portu- 
gues ; Jose, Austrian ; Triton, Swedish ; Phebo, Sardinian ; Port-a- 
Port, Swedish ; Alcyon, ditto ; Alco, Russian ; Esperanza, Tuscan ; 
Argo, English ; New York, Hamburg ; Lydia Ann. American ; Czaar 
Peter, Russian ; Crest, Swedish ; Experiment, ditto ; Joanna, ditto ; 
Minette, ditto ; Carl Martin, ditto ; Betty, ditto. — Total, ninety-five 

In the following months, from the end of March to the 1st of Sep- 
tember, when I treated the same class of people, the list was still further 
considerably increased ; it was the saddest congress of nations that 
could be seen ; a conflict of nearly all the languages of Europe. 

And one-half of the patients that I treated up to the 24th of March, 
on the Island of Bour-Jesus, died. It was a sad and terrible mortality, 
which made me forget the proportion of cholera cases. And was this 
my fault? Could I save the dying, when some of the foreign cap- 
tains, or of my colleagues had already treated them on board their 

* Not the same as the Russian vessel. 

♦ A second ehip of the eame name, and under the game flag. 

Testimony of Dr. R. Lallemant. 17 3 

vessels, and who often sent them to me after the agonies of dissolution 
had already commenced 1 There were some cases in which the sick 
died in the boat which was carrying them from the port to the Island 
of Bour-Jesus. Thus, one day, I saw one already dead, one dying, 
and one dangerously sick from the same ship, and in the same boat. 
And with how many was I unable to speak after the first visit, because 
they could never hear me again ! 

Some Russian ships appeared particularly unfortunate. The Rus- 
sian schooner Noma lost her whole crew, with the exception of two 
men. One day, passing along the port, I was called on board the 
Danish schooner Elizabeth, Capt. Von Ehren. The captain and his 
wife, both very young, and married only a few months, were sick, as 
also were so many of the sailors that it was impossible to send a boat 
ashore to obtain remedies. It was necessary to hail the captain of 
the nearest vessel to send some men. Three days afterwards, the 
captain died ; his wife was carried ashore in a dying state by friends of 
her dead husband ; a few hours afterwards, being at the time in the 
third month of pregnancy, she also died ; and they were buried both 
together, beneath the same tomb, in the Gamboa Cemetery. 

It appears that one English ship had three captains, in consequence 
of two having died. Many vesels could not pursue their voyages, be- 
cause it was impossible to collect sailors enough. And if, after many 
efforts to obtain men, the captains did weigh anchor, sickness again 
broke out with the labor. The Danish sloop Marie Christine lost four 
sailors here, and left for Hamburg. Eight days afterwards, she re- 
turned ; she had six more men sick, among whom were both the pilots ; and 
except the captain, already old, nobody would, nobody could, take charge 
of the vessel. The Swedish bark Hebe, and the Swedish schooner Brave 
scarcely got as far as the fortress of Santa Cruz, before various persons 
took sick, and the vessels returned to their anchorage. The Russian brig 
Olga, sailed hence in the beginning of February ; some days aftewards, 
she was seen by the ship Lembranca, abandoned to the mercy of the 
waves ; the captain and the pilot had died, and nobody knew how to nav- 
igate the ship ; a steamer was sent to tow her into port, and the Olga 

This caprice of the epidemic was sometimes almost ridiculous. 
Thus, on the Swedish brig Betty, Capt. Schmidt, eight out of eleven 
of the crew took sick ; the other three did not suffer anything. Eight 
weeks afterwards, during which nothing further occurred on board the 
vessel, the Captain ordered her to be painted, and on the same day, 
the other three sailors were attacked. 

Sometimes vessels remained in port three months without suffering 
from the epidemic, while the sailors were exposed to all the liabilities 
of contracting it; others were scarcely in port a few days before they 
had sickness on board ; — thus the Hamburg bark Carlisle had scarcely 
entered and anchored at the Customhouse quay, when all on board of 
her Bickened on the same day, and could not continue discharging — 

174 Testimony of Dr. R. Lallemant. 

the Captain sent twelve men to the Hospital. About the same time 
there was a French ship, which anchored at the Customhouse quay ; 
after a few moments work the sailors took sick, her discharging was 
interrupted, and there were some merchants who fled from the Cus- 
tomhouse quay, as if they had seen a spectre in the place. 

The disease sometimes attacked people so suddenly, that it might 
be said they were laughing and lamenting almost at the same instant. 
One day I saw a boat with four sailors, who brought a fifth as a patient 
to the island of Bour-Jesus. On the way the four rowers were very 
much diverted; when, suddenly one of them let go one of the oars 
and cried out, " I have the fever ! " He shivered with cold, and in 
place of returning with his companions, he too, remained as a patient 
at the island of Bour-Jesus, and died a few days afterwards. " 

All, or nearly all, the vessels of war anchored in the port were at- 
tacked by the epidemic. 

But enough of such facts as these, which might be indefinitely in- 

Thus, the disease scourged mankind by sea and by land, although 
they implored divine clemency, as "well in private houses, as in the 
churches, and even in the streets, which they more than once filled 
with religious processions by night, of a most mournful impressive- 

It appears that the men suffered more than the women ; at least at 
the beginning of the epidemic, that it was almost men alone who 
were attacked ; but that is only in appearance, seeing that among 
the foreign residents the number of men greatly exceeds that of 
women. But there was also a time in which women found themselves 
most exposed to the fever, and afterwards even the servants. 

Condition of life had little influence. The age of vigor, from 16 to 
40 years, suffered most. 

Occupation had a much greater influence. The more any one was 
exposed to the pathogenetic causes, of which we will speak a little 
further on, the more readily he sickened. 

The very distinguished Dr. Valladas Pimentel, having informed me 
that he was making a minute statistical statement, in order to give an 
exact idea as to the proportion of cases to the mortality among the 
population of Rio de Janeiro, I confine myself to a very few lines, in 
which I wish to give only a general view of the city during the time 
of the epidemic, without minutely enumerating the cases of death 
a nd of sickness. 

I am so much the better able to limit myself to these notes, as the 
number of those attacked, and of those who died is generally uncer- 
tain. There were some persons who estimated the dead at fifteen 
thousand, which is, without the slightest doubt, erroneous. Some 
others pretend that only some one thousand died of yellow fever ; 
but this appears to me too low an estimate. 

Testimony of Dr. R. Lallemant. 175 

An approximative calculation indicates that there were perhaps ten 
thousand deaths, and at least one hundred thousand sick. 

The following communication, respecting the yellow fever was pub- 
lished by Dr. Chernoviz, in the Jornal do Commercio, in the begin- 
ning of the month of September. 

" From the invasion of the epidemic, that is, from the 1st of January, 
1850, till the 31st of August, there died in Rio de Janeiro, of yellow 
fever, three thousand eight hundred and twenty-s?ven individuals ; 
of other diseases, four thousand nine hundred and ninety-three ; in 
all, eight thousand eight hundred and twenty free persons and slaves, 

"The mortality of these eight months of the year, 1850, compared 
with that of the previous year, gives the following result : 

" In the whole of the year, 1849, in which there was no epidemic 
in Rio de Janeiro, there died, in all, seven thousand nine hundred and 
five persons, which gives, for the eight months, five thousand two 
hundred and seventy deaths, a few more or less. 

" It results from this comparison, that in the first eight months of 
the year, 1850, there died three thousand five hundred and fifty per- 
sons more than in the first eight months of the year 1849, in which 
the mortality was normal. 

" The number of deaths in the year 1849, gives for each month an 
average of six hundred and fifty-nine. The mortality of the month of 
August, of the year 1850, was only twenty-seven persons of yellow 
fever, and five hundred and ninety-three of other diseases; in all six hun- 
dred and twenty. "Which proves that the mortality of the last month 
was less than that of the same month in 1849." 

From the end of May, the disease had become reduced to a limited 
number of cases ; but it still continued to terrify the inhabitants. But 
now, in the beginning of the month of September, it appears to have 
come to a termination. 

The epidemic of Bahia, and of Rio de Janeiro, reached every port 
on the Brazilian coast; it followed ships into European waters ; and 
there were cases in which sailors died of the yellow fever, very near 
the shores of Europe. 

Nothing could be further from my intention, than to collect in this 
place all the notes which we possess on these cases. In a complete 
and extensive treatise on the yellow fever, they should not be omitted ; 
but they would encumber a memoir, the simple object of which is to 
offer some considerations on the disease. 

Scarcely had the yellow fever appeared in my hospital report, before 
many of my colleagues opposed me : " This is not yellow fever ; that 
disease does not arrive yet at Rio de Janeiro." But when the existence 
of it in the city could no longer be denied, every one said : " How is it 
possible that this disease could penetrate yet into our capital ?" 

I, on the contrary, many years since, inquired of myself: "How is 
it possible that the yellow fever should never be engendered in Rio de 
Janeiro ?" 

176 Testimony of Dr. E. Lallemant. 

There is no knowledge in the world which can tell us what are the true 
causes that produce yellow fever. The fact is, that as generally the mar- 
gins of the Nile are the cradle of the Eastern plague, so the yellow fever 
generally is generated and remains endemic on the borders of that trans- 
atlantic Western Mediterranean, called the Gulf of Mexico and the Cari- 
bean Sea. 

We see in this Gulf, a sea strewn with islands and rocks little affected 
by high tides ; shores to a great extent so doubtful that, in some places, it 
cannot be said where the solid land begins ; we see these vast swamp- 
plains covered with a labyrinth of avicennias, paulinas, and rhizophorus, 
beneath the mysterious shadows of which millions of Crustacea, anne- 
lids, and infusoria are generated, die, and putrify. Various large rivers, 
and numberless smaller ones discharge their waters into this vast bay, 
making on its borders that mixture of fresh and salt water, the exhalations 
of which through the whole world are to be feared, and are fearfully 
prolific of the seeds of noxious fevers of various species, according to the 
other pathogenetic causes existing in the particular locality. 

In this Central American Gulf, which receives and deposits the refuse 
and impurities of the greater part of the Atlantic ocean ; and which, also, 
by the formation of its shores, compels this sea to take a direction con- 
trary to the retro-rotative motion of the general ocean ; on this gulf, we 
say, the burning tropical sun almost constantly pours his vertical rays ; 
there are few places in the world where there are so many elements of 
putrefaction combined. Perhaps only the delta of the Ganges and that 
of the Nile in its periodical overflows, can rival that of the Gulf of Mexico 
in general, and that of the Lower Mississippi in particular ! And thus we 
have conjoined the great triumvirate of insalubrious river courses — that 
of the Nile, that country of the plague ; the Ganges, beneath the jungles 
of which festers the cholera morbus ; and that of the Mississippi, which 
has already generated so many epidemics of yellow fever. 

Who can deny that in the bay of Rio de Janeiro, we have a sort of 
microscopic daguerreotype of the Gulf of Mexico ? 

We see there, also, a little intertropical Mediterranean, with tides rising 
but very little, and scarcely causing on its border a current of any con- 
sideration ; we see islands and rocks in the interior of this bay ; we see 
extensive swampy shores, with the very identical vegetation above indi- 
cated, the same procreation and putrefaction of inferior animals ; we see 
also, there, rivers with low banks, mixing fresh water with salt; lastly, 
we see in the bay of Rio de Janeiro, all that concatenation of morbific 
circumstances, which on the Eastern shores of America beget the yellow 

I do not say that Rio de Janeiro has the position of New Orleans, but 
that of Havana or Port-au-Prince. 

Finding from this state of things, a predisposition for yellow fever at 
Rio de Janeiro, I wondered that this disease was not endemic there. It 
appears to me that these great morbific causes were still, in the current 
year, not sufficiently strong to create an epidemic upon an extensive scale. 

Testimony of Dr. R. Lallemant. lVT 

Certainly, some other extraordinary and important ones were necessary 
to complete this fermentation on the shores, and to generate the epidemic 
of the year 1850. 

Without expressing ourselves poetically, we may say, the region of 
Rio de Janeiro always contained, (and always must contain,) within its 
fecund lap the germ of the epidemic in a state of latent life. Meteoro- 
logical conditions, bringing with them the final procreating causes, called 
this germ into active life ; thus was produced the epidemic demon of the 
yellow fever, beneath whose unchecked sway we have suffered so much. 

No inhabitant of Rio de Janeiro can forget the regularity with which, 
until four or five years ago, thunder storms occurred almost daily during 
the hot weather. 

When in the month of November, the sun returned from hyperborean 
latitudes to pass over our heads, and to culminate over the shores of the 
province of Rio de Janeiro, there were various agents to mitigate the 
burning heat ! 

One of the most powerful agents of this nature was, without doubt, 
the thunder storms. When in the hot months, the morning hours had 
exhausted the physical forces in general, and especially those of laboring 
men, by two or three o'clock in the afternoon, the tops of the mountains 
had become hidden within the the thick thunder clouds. At a distance, 
the bright glare of the lightning broke through the celestial mantle, and 
very far off was heard the rolling of the thunder. At five o'clock, the 
storm, in general, very rapidly left the mountains ; to a strong wind suc- 
ceeded a fierce combat among the elements. The air trembled with con- 
tinuous claps of thunder ; a very copious rain ended the strife, frequently 
leaving the long streets of the city impassable for more than an hour. 
Thus the air underwent a most violent agitation ; thus, afterwards, every- 
thing that was suspended with it was precipitated by the rain ; iius, what- 
ever had passed into a state of putrefaction was swept away by the very co- 
pious torrents ; thus was the heat checked ; thus was all nature reorganized. 

It is four or five years since this change, so peculiar to these useful 
elements, for the diminishing of the geographical predisposition to 
diseases, became sensibly lessened. Rarer and rarer became the thunder 
storms; and in the hot season of the year 1849-50, they had nearly 
altogether disappeared. It is true that the mountain tops were frequently 
hidden by thunder clouds; it is true that lightning flashes sometimes 
reached as far as us, and that we heard the very distant rollings of thun- 
der ; but an impenetrable barrier seemed to have been raised on the plains 
on the other side of the bay ; and, however heavy thunder there was on 
the mountain tops ; however many whole weeks of copious rain there 
were up there, the city and the vicinity were in the greatest apparent 
tranquillity of nature; the apparent tranquillity of a cemetery. No wind 
preceding an electric discharge ; no bursting out of a thunder storm ; no 
copious rain ; no interruption of the intertropical heat ; even the South- 
Southeast breeze, formerly so regular and so strong, was, in this year, 
rarer and slighter. Under Phaeton's car, the proximity of which once 

1"78 Testimony of Br. R. Lallemant. 

more burned the world, domibus negata, and under the above mentioned 
conditions, the vital forces of the universe were exhausted ; it was impos- 
sible that humanity either could longer resist that general fermentation ; 
the human race sickened on a grand scale ; and where the organism was 
not accustomed to resist these "influences, when it was not acclimated, it 
followed the immutable laws of nature ; the organism was dissolved into 
inorganic matter. 

If, indeed, we find an indubitable predisposition to the yellow fever in 
the geographical conditions of the bay of Rio de Janeiro, these were 
completed by the want of electric action, by the want of thunder and 
rain, and by the heat necessarily increased by these indicated deficiencies. 

Far from me be the pretension that the process of human life does not 
depend on any thing more than the contact of electro-motive elements in 
the body. But, on the other hand, we cannot deny the greatest analogy, 
or at least, a most indubitable relation between electro-galvanic or mag- 
netic action and the process of human life ; the first being diminished, the 
second necessarily becomes deteriorated ; and when the reaction from a 
part of the earth's surface against its atmosphere becomes latent, the 
process of zotic life also ceases, and the matter enters into other chemical 

The epidemic being considered under this point of view, it would not be 
very reasonable, or at least it would be only a very circumscribed idea, if 
we should still persist in the opinion that the yellow fever was imported, 
and was propogated by means of contagion. There is certainly no phy- 
sician in Rio de Janeiro who could have such strong reasons as I have to 
swear against the contagiousness of the disease. But, from the first mo- 
ment up to this time, I have protested against this contagiousness. The 
coast of Brazil, the bay of Rio de Janeiro, with its shores, were diseased, 
and our epidemic was only a symptom of this morbidity of the earth. In 
those places in which the conditions of this terrestrial disease were not 
found, so likewise the yellow fever did not exist, or when it was carried 
thither, it did not propogate itself it was not contagious. 

We have a striking proof of this non-contagiousness of the yellow 
fever in the colony of Petropolis. 

This colony is, as is generally known, situated in the midst of the 
Estrella mountains, at a height of a little more or less than 2,000 feet. 
The locality had none of the elements above indicated as necessary to 
procreate or foster the yellow fever. But the people of Petropolis, all 
natives of the interior of Germany, blondes, of sanguinoe-lymphatic tem- 
peraments, belonged to the class of persons which in all parts of the world, 
if exposed to yellow fever, almost infallibly catch it, and die in great 

This is no sophistical theory ; it is a truth unhappily proved by a con- 
siderable number of examples in the time of the epidemic. There are in 
Rio de Janeiro, people from Petropolis, who, for the purpose of gaining 
a subsistance, had descended from the mountains to the capital, before 
the prevalence of the epidemic; some even came during that time. 

Testimony of Dr. R. Lallemant. 1T9 

Well ! I found them sick and dying, as well in different parts of the city, 
in my private practice, as in the yellow fever ; and the subject of even 
one of the first cases of the whole epidemic, the clerk Johann, in tho 
house of Mr. Hess, on the beach of D. Manoel, was from the colony of 
Petropolis. I do not recollect to have found a slight case amongst them, 
but some fatal ones, I do. 

I cannot affirm it, but I heard that a superior order, after this danger- 
ous susceptibility of the Petropolitans had been observed, prohibited the 
German inhabitants of the colony from coming to Kio de Janeiro. On 
the other hand, there was no prohibition from going from the capital to 
the colony. When the yellow fever was at its greatest height, many 
inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro, and especially many persons recently 
arrived from Europe, fled thither ; some of them afterwards took sick, and 
nearly all who did so died ; it appears that there were ten, or as others 
pretend thirty-one, for the most part guests of the hotels of the colony, 
which were full and overrun with people. Some Petropolitans who had 
taken sick in Rio de Janeiro, were carried by their relatives to the moun- 
tains, when they were scarcely convalescent, but were even still in a 
febrile condition. 

And what happened? 

The yellow fever was several times introduced into the colony of Pe- 
tropolis by fugitives from the city; these fugitives stayed and died in the 
midst of hotels full of people who all had the greatest proclivity for the 
yellow fever ; but there was not a case of transference of the fever to these 
hotels. And the convalescent colonists who had arrived from the city, 
even both with their apparel brought thence, and with the fever still in 
their systems, living in the midst of houses all the inhabitants of which 
had the greatest inclination with the fever, — all these colonists exercised 
an influence absolutely amounting to nothing upon the colony. No Pe- 
tropolitan who had not been to the city at all was attacked ; the fever, 
considered in Rio de Janeiro so contagious, was not contagious in the 
midst of a thousand men who were all in the highest degree predisposed 
to contagion. 

Similar circumstances, similar non-contagiousness, was observed in 
Nova Friburgo, Constancia, Paquequer, and even in Tijuca. 

And here in Rio de Janeiro ! If the disease was contagious, it must 
have followed that those brought most into contact with the sick, must 
have been the most easily attacked. 

Who are they that were most exposed to the epidemic, — this most 
contagious epidemic? Ask Dr. Jose Mariano da Silva, who lived two 
months in the convent on the island of Bour-Jesus, if he was attacked ! 
Ask Dr. A. J. Peixotto, who lived so long in the midst of so many pa- 
tients in the Gamboa Hospital ! Do you know why they were not at- 
tacked ? Because the disease was not contagious, and those gentlemen 
were not afraid ! And a great portion of the gentlemen boaiders, devoted 
with so much courage to their duty, perhaps they were attacked. 

It may be that some will tell me that these gentlemen by their physi- 

180 Testimony of Dr. R. Lallemant. 

cal constitutions, belonged to the class of persons the least susceptible of 
the disease. Well, then, let me be permitted to say a few words of my- 

Who had more apparent physical predispositions for the fever than I ? 
I am a son of the far North, a man from the shores of the Baltic, blonde ; 
of sanguineo-lymphatic temperament ; and with disposition, which is the 
true pabulum of the yellow fever, I exposed myself in an almost reckless 
manner to the fever. From the commencement of the epidemic, (on the 
28th of December,) until the 1st of September, I worked in the hospitals 
without the slightest interruption. In the mornjng, at V o'clock, I em- 
barked for the island of Bour-Jesus ; I paid the visit, returned beneath 
the powerful sun of the hot season, went to visit the Misericordia Hospital, 
attended to my extensive practice about the city, and about the vicinity 
as far as the Vermeilha beach and even as far as Tijuca ; I visited some 
ships in the port ; at 1 or 8 o'clock at night, I embarked again for the 
island of Bour-Jesus, paid a long visit to the infirmary, and returned at 
11, midnight, to the city. Sometimes, chiefly when the elements were 
against me, I arrived at 2 o'clock in the morning, after a voyage of two 
or three hours ; and these hours, on the hard seats of the open boat, were 
frequently the only ones in which I could sleep undisturbed ; seeing that, 
on getting home, I found various other calls ; and sometimes in the morn- 
ing, I scarcely had time to change my clothes. There was more than 
one day that I did not dine, and more than one night that I did not sleep. 
My whole life was irregular and anomalous ; I am much accustomed to 
fatigues and privations ; but on some occasions, I could not but wonder 
at my being able to undergo such labors, which almost exceeded human 
powers. And in this existence, so exposed to contagion from the fever, I 
was not attacked, — without doubt because during a residence of thirteen 
years in Brazil, I have always exposed myself to every inclemency of sun, 
rain, &c. I am acclimated, and perhaps, I may say, "I have no fear!" 

So we have also observed that in the epidemic of Rio de Janeiro, that 
a certain height and a certain temperature, in which the fever can by no 
means develop itself and spread. The height to which the fever cannot 
reach may be perhaps from 800 to 1,000 feet, a little more or less, the 
temperature from ten to twelve degrees of Reaumur, although one or more 
cold days might not be capable of completely banishing the whole of the 

On the other hand, we can observe that the lower and hotter a place 
was, the more easily it produced the yellow fever. It appears that the 
febrile atmosphere is heavy. Thus the fever appeared early in the com- 
mencement of its complete development, in all the beaches of the city, 
which are generally horribly foul and filthy. 

I consider that even low vessels, such as schooners, sloops and small 
brigs, were more readily attacked, and with the greatest violence, than 
large vessels, and loaded ones than those that had no caro-o on board. 
This circumstance also appears to speak in favor of the idea that the fe- 
brile air is heavy. But we ought here to remark that small vessels are 

Testimony of Dr. R. Lallemant. 181 

generally worse aired in the sailors' quarters, and that in the act of dis- 
charging larger ones, the sailors were very much exposed to the sun and 
the heat. 

In the greatest intensity of the epidemic, small eminences did not af- 
ford any advantage over low streets. A few weeks after the appearance 
of the fever in Misericordia street, the affliction scourged the inhabitants 
in the best aired height of the rock of Castello ; and whilst the first ves- 
sels attacked in the port were schooners, the Portuguese ship Vasco de 
Gama, the crew of which was foreign, suffered much by the epidemic. 

If we ask why unacclimated strangers suffered so much, the question 
would not be so easy to answer. Mere heat alone is not the cause. 
There are weeks in Stockholm and at St. Petersburg, in which the sun 
beats down with as much power as in Rio de Janeiro, and there are many 
places in which the maximum of heat is greater than on our beaches. The 
cause of this phenomenon — why unacclimated foreigners suffer so much — 
is certainly to be found in the circumstance of the atmospheric intoxica- 
tion being in them so rapid and powerful. We who have lived some 
years or some tens of years beneath the Brazilian sun, are completely 
acclimated — that is, our conditions of life have accommodated themselves 
to the endemic, peculiar, and characteristic atmospheric condition of the 
country. If any particular character of this endemic atmospheric 
constitution becomes more developed, all those who have already accom- 
modated their vital conditions to its ancient character, supported this 
change with greater facility than others not yet so accustomed ; these 
must rapidly succumb, in a manner similar to that in which those who 
have for some time been accustomed to take small doses, can without 
danger take larger doses, and scarcely feel any effects from them, while 
others less accustomed would succumb under the same dose. 

We even see this in daily occurrences. What a strife tobacco provokes 
in the system at first ! How it shows its poisonous effects on boys who 
begin to smoke ! And how indifferent the same leaf is to the professed 
smoker ! Alcohol, wine, offer the same phenomenon. Custom fashions 
everything in man. In Rio de Janeiro it enables acclimated persons to 
bear the augmentation of the noxious conditions of the atmosphere ; but 
it killed those who had not been accustomed to them. 

And nevertheless, there are people who believe the fever to be con- 
tagious and imported ! 

Having come to the conclusion that the yellow fever is not the product 
of importation, either in American ships or in slave ships, and that it is 
not contagious, but that it is the procreation of an epidemic atmosphere, 
of an epidemic genius, it must follow, and be granted that every living 
thing was saturated by this epidemic agent. 

This is my pathogenetic paradox. All men who lived at the time of 
the epidemic were subject to this epidemic procreative ; were frustrated 
by the epidemic atmosphere in the time of the epidemic, 

We are very poorly supplied with delicate means of ascertaining the 
state of our vital forces in different moments and on different occasions. 

182 Testimony of Dr. R. Lallcmant. 

But when there are a series of plain and common symptoms — such as 
pains, foul tongue, quick pulse, we can combine these to realize an idea 
of the disease; we know so many fevers, so many ites, ies, and isms ; 
and we even know on these occasions how to make a tolerable prog- 
nosis ; but what do we know of the state of the vital forces, of the 
dynamics, of this ancient zotic breath of man, when man complains 
of nothing ? 

There is no doubt that great terror can kill a man ; in an instant he 
falls to the earth, and returns no more to life ; another falls prostrated 
by the same terror, but in a moment, a second afterwards he rises, 
has scarcely a few more violent pulsations of the heart, scarcely feels 
his respiration a little more accelerated, and at the end of a quarter 
of an hour, all has passed. And who can deny, that while in the first 
the vital and dynamic forces were totally annihilated, in the second 
they were reduced to a minimum? The individual was in that mo- 
ment as near death, as was perhaps the man attacked by black vomit. 

Unfortunately we possess no scale, or instrument, or metre, to mea- 
sure the vital forces of man at different moments, in which we cannot 
diagnosticate some disease. The hygrometer shows us perfectly the 
state of humidity of the air ; with the electrometer, we possess the 
power of observing the electric condition of the atmosphere ; the re- 
action of the atmosphere upon the earth may be observed with much 
exactness, by means of the barometric column ; with an admirable 
minuteness, the vibrations of the pendulum shows us the attractive 
force of our earth near the poles and at the equator; and it further 
even shows us what must be the density of the crust of the earth, 
where we allow the pendulum to vibrate. And the magnetic needle ? 
An extremely small needle gives us the greatest revelations in the state 
of the interior of the earth. While in formidable earthquakes the 
needle remains entirely undisturbed, — these being very superficial, — 
the observer in Gottingen or in Lapland is surprised by an immense 
magnetic discharge in the interior of the globe, although no shock, 
no terrestrial movement is observed at that moment ; but the magnetic 
needle suddenly changes its laws of declination and variation, and 
vibrates in an irregular and unsteady manner; suddenly the shock 
passes, the magnetic steadiness is restored, and some months afterwards 
the observer is informed that at the same instant of time, the same 
shock in the interior of the earth was heard, was perceived on the coasts 
of China or in Port Adelaide. 

That magnetic needle, that biometer, which Ave may apply to our body 
to observe the most delicate perturbations, the internal disturbances of our 
vital forces, imperceptible to our gross senses, is still, however, wanting 
to us. And while the astronomer makes the almost divine discovery of 
a new planet, not yet visible, by calculating the perturbations in the revo- 
lution of another about the sun, the physician, even yet, although he has 
the stethoscope to aid his hearing, and the microscope his sio-ht, is con- 
demned to examine the vomitings, the urine, and the dejections of indi- 

Testimony of Dr. R. Lallemant. 183 

viduals, in order to form some approximative judgment, and which is in 
innumerable cases utterly erroneous, with respect to the state of the vital 
forces of a man. Physiology, as well as pathology, when inquiries are 
directed to them as to the essentiality of the vital and pathological pro- 
cesses, remain abashed, and exculpate themselves by giving new very 
minute facts, instead of explanations of facts already known. 

There being thus a predisposition and a preparation, I would almost 
say a certain necessity, in all, to fall sick, some cause that generally can, 
at some time, and in some country, generate some disease, created the 
yellow fever in Rio de Janerio. 

From among a thousand, I will enumerate only a few. Without 
the least doubt, the sun and its immediate heat, ( if the sun has 
heat,) have a very strong influence in making this precursory poison 
appear as an open and manifest fever. He who for many years, 
and in the most unlimited manner, has been accustomed to expose 
himself to a Brazilian sun, can do it also in the time of an epidemic. 
But he who has practiced it for several years, may reckon almost 
with certainty upon a visit from the fever after having exposed 
himself, either on foot or on horseback, to the strong sun. How many 
sailors have not been sick from this cause, or because they had 
worked hard, or because in the middle of the day they had thrown 
themselves into the sea with their heads uncovered ; while in those 
ships in which negroes were hired to discharge and load, much fewer 
of the sailors were attacked. 

Excesses in eating and drinking avenged themselves much more 
easily than previously, by an access of the epidemic ; constipations, 
&c, produced the yellow fever. 

One of the most powerful causes of attack was, without doubt, the 
disposition of the mind. 

Whoever had any fear, almost infallibly fell sick. And men, 
who with judgment and unyielding courage, sported at the disease, 
who followed it by sea and land, frequently enjoyed the brilliant 
privilege of not contracting it. 

Any other passion of the mind, whether depressing or exciting, 
produced nearly the same effect. It attracted the fever. 

Finally, whatever cause excited the circulation, was capable of 
producing the fever. Even a very active circulation itself, especially 
of the peripheric capillaries, such as we find in men recently 
arrived from the North, was also a cause of fever. The more disen- 
gaged the hematosis was, the more strongly the fever appeared. 
Thus, women a few months pregnant, especially foreigners, were in a 
critical condition ; they easily got sick, miscarried, and were in danger 
of death. 

In a similar position were women soon after delivery. A slight 
febrile disturbance, which is otherwise so frequent and innocent 
after delivery, in these circumstances was onguis latens in 7ierbd. 
Even wounds of any consequence, which were followed by a trau- 

184 Testimony of Dr. B. Lallemant. 

matic fever, would by means of this fever, become a cause of yellow 
fever. We even saw one case in which a youth, having undergone 
a pretty strong attack of yellow fever, had a severe fall, and the 
general disturbance caused him a true relapse of the same yellow 

If, in this manner, anything that in general was the cause of some 
peculiar sickness, in the time of the epidemic could become the 
cause of yellow fever ; if thus the yellow fever could ingraft itself on 
any acute disease, chronic ailments were, in a corresponding degree, 
the cause of yellow fever. 

When in the drama comprised in a chronic disease, there was a 
somewhat acute scene, the yellow fever was soon associated with it. 
How many consumptive people, who might still cough through many 
acts of their tragical existence, were not attacked in a more feverish 
moment by the yellow fever, and carried off? 

There are always in our practice, among the foreigners in the Misericor- 
dia Hospital, some foreign individuals, who, in the sad traffic, went to 
procure on the coast of Africa, not money, but splenic affections with 
almost regular relapses. Some of these splenetic men, who had already 
been treated by me two and four times in the Misericordia Hospital, 
returned on this occasion to the hospital for the last time ; on the febrile 
access of the splenitis, the yellow fever ingrafted itself, and the patient 

There were also cases in which persons who had legs swollen by sweat- 
ing erysipelas, felt as they had many times before, a burning and redness 
of the skin ; a slight acceleration of pulse manifesting itself on this oc- 
casion, the yellow fever supervened with all the terrible train of symp- 

Finally, to conclude a chapter which might be extended to infinity, the 
chapter on the causes of the yellow fever, I make the following r6sume : 

Whatever was a cause of febrile disturbance, was also a cause of yel- 
low fever, and whatever was the febrile disturbance, it with great facility 
took the character of yellow fever. This peculiarity of diseases to take 
a character so special, this necessity of their getting a form so widely 
extended, and oftentimes so pernicious, was the consequence of the state 
of the atmosphere, of the epidemic genius, whose latent existence is 
always found in the telluric conditions of our shores, but whose complete 
incubation was provoked by the anomalous atmospheric causes above 
indicated. It is for this reason that other diseases under the unlimited 
domination of the epidemic, appeared not to exist. 

But if any one prefers to command the yellow fever to come in a slave 
ship from the coast of Africa, if he prefers the American flag to allow 
the pest of the Mississippi, of the island of Cuba, to approximate even to 
Rio de Janeiro, I do not wish to disarrange this his good pleasure for 
him. My idea, my most intimate conviction, is that above indicated ; 
and that which always has directed, and always will direct my proceed- 
ings in all that has respect to the yellow fever. 

Testimony of Dr. Paula Candido. 185 

And if contagionist physicians, who cannot deny me great courage, 
find my proceedings groundless, and capable of being the cause of great 
and repeated evils and public calamities, let them demonstrate to me the 
contagiousness of the yellow fever ! As yet I know of no epidemic of 
yellow fever, in the beginning of which the cases were shown so cohe- 
rent as in ours ; I myself saw them, I followed them, I collected them ; 
and I myself completely cleared myself of the idea that this disease is 
contagious. The cases of Misericordia street admit another simple and 
natural explanation. All those sick persons were recently arrived foreign- 
ers; in Bahia the epidemic element of yellow fever was already more 
freely spread than that in Rio de Janeiro ; for that reason, a man coming 
from Bahia was more deeply penetrated by the pathogenetic causes, and 
would be more depressed by the disease than any one who had never gone 
out of Rio de Janeiro. Those which followed, dwelt in a place in which 
of necessity, and even without the presence of the first coming from 
Bahia, the fever had developed itself. And in truth the sickness of those 
in Franck's house was so isochronous, or so nearly consentaneous, that the 
consecutive infection would be difficult to prove. 

If on the contrary we adopt non-contagiousness ; and if starting from 
this point of view we look upon the first cases, it must be declared that 
they were attacked because they were all unacclimated foreigners. 

In a dirty tavern of foreign sailors, in a filthy ship overburdened with 
dirty people, the yellow fever will always find its hotbed, and the first 
cases will be coherent, like those in the houses of Franck, Wood, Hourde, 
&c, <fec. 


Transmitted to the Sanitary Commission by the Author. 

Extract from the Report made by DR. CANDIDO, on the Yellow Fever 

at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

The object of this work is to explain succinctly the causes which pro- 
duced the yellow fever at Rio de Janeiro ; to explain how to prevent 
epidemics, and to establish a general mode of treatment for this terrible 


1st. The atmosphere of this city is always loaded with gases and mias- 
matic exhalations ; on all sides organic substances are seen in a state of 
putrefaction. These gases and these exhalations had, in the first instance 
saturated all bodies, adding these to the human organisms which have 
respired them, when the yellow fever commenced to appear. These 
foreign bodies in the human organism may be considered as abnormal 
exciters of physiological functions, and must naturally produce a 
morbid reaction ; after having been absorbed by the cutaneous surface 
and the mucous covering of the lungs, the morbific causes may be con- 
sidered external causes of the disease. 

18G Testimony of Dr. Paula Candid". 

2d. The primary matter on which these external causes exert their 
influence is undoubtedly the mucous coat of the lungs, where the miasms 
which produce the yellow fever are condensed by the act of inspiration, 
are absorbed, and produce functional disturbances, principally marked by 
changes in the excretive functions ; these are the internal or organic 

On the causes of the Yellow Fever in Bio de Janeiro. 

It is a century since the yellow fever so severely ravaged either the 
Brazilian Empire or its capital. In the books of the Charity Hospital of 
this capital I have found some interesting notes on some cases of yellow 
fever introduced by infected vessels which had entered the port, from the 
United States, from the coast of Africa, from Havana, &c; and through 
which, nevertheless, the yellow fever never developed itself in the city, 
although there were foci of infection in the port. That is to say, 
showing that contagion alone could not be the cause of the development 
of this disease in the years 1849 and 1850, and that it is necessary to 
search further for its origin. 

The progress of the sciences in general, and the researches lately made 
in all civilized countries on the origin of epidemics, have demonstrated to 
us that we seek for their causes in other external, meteorological, mias- 
matic and corresponding circumstances, capable of deranging the physio- 
logical functions, and which, after having exerted their influence on the 
organism, create internal, immediate causes, productive of the yellow fever. 
External Causes. 

We have no meteorological observations anterior to the year 1850 ; but 
all inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro have observed that the regular winds of 
that bay, the night dew, the clearness of the atmosphere, &c, have been 
considerably modified for some years past. I, myself, have observed (and 
it has always made a strong impression on me) that the sun, in rising 
above the horizon, and in setting, during the latter months of 1849 and 
the beginning of 1850, was surrounded by a circle of a blood red color, 
which had the effect of enabling one to look directly at it without incon- 
venience. The hot winds of the North prevailed almost exclusively during 
the whole year. Meteorological observations, made during two consecu- 
tive years after the epidemic, have demonstrated that the force of the epi- 
demic was greatest in those months in which humidity, and consequently, 
the quantity of miasms and atmospheric exhalations were most prevalent 
and marked. 

In vieAv of these phenomena, we must come to the conclusion that large 
masses of vapors of miasmatic exhalations <tc, were suspended over the 
city before and during the epidemic. All porous bodies naturally ab- 
sorbed these vapors, these miasmatic carbonic exhalations The lungs of 
the inhabitants, also, continually absorbed these exhalations &c, and a 
strong reaction could not but follow. These exhalations, with which all 
inanimate porous bodies were saturated, were naturally transformed by 
time and putrefaction into putrid and pestilential emanations. No 

Testimony of Dr. Paula Candido. 187 

one can doubt that the atmosphere, dwellings, and all organisms were 
saturated with these gaseous or miasmatic exhalations, at the period of 
the epidemic of the year 1850 breaking out. When the epidemic had 
reached its climax (in the month of March) very abundant, copious and 
heavy rains fell. Many practitioners believed that the epidemic would 
consequently experience a considerable diminution, as the air had been 
purified ; but, on the contrary, the epidemic increased with each rain. I 
came to the conclusion that it was the humidity that augmented its force. 

With this humidity, besides its action, there was ail equivalent for 
the miasms, in places where they did not exist ; it was the diminution 
of cutaneous perspiration and of pulmonary exhalation, occasioned 
by the humidity itself. Collard and Martigny have demonstrated by 
analysis that expired air contains three parts in a thousand of oro-anic 
matter in a state of putrefaction, and Smith has shown that this mat- 
ter was albuminoid ; many other analogous observations have proved 
that the disturbance of these two functions infect the economy pre- 
cisely as would a miasmatic atmosphere. The quantity of these mat- 
ters contained in the organism may be judged of from the cessation 
of perspiration, reflecting that a man in ordinary circumstances exhales 
eighteen ounces of watery vapors, surcharged with these albuminoid 
principles. Well, the organism will be infected by these matters in 
the same manner as if he had directly respired miasms. 

With these facts before us, it will be understood, that these mias- 
matic or organic matters, retained in the circulation produce in man 
a zymotic condition — a fever. This is the reason why individuals who 
left the city for more healthy places, fell there also victims of the 
fever, although in these places the health was in a satisfactory condi- 
tion ; a fact observed and perfectly proved in the year 1850. 
^ In damp houses, on ground floors, in sailors' boarding-houses in the 
vicinity of the sea; in all places in which miasms were fostered by an 
abundance of porous objects, the epidemic ravaged with the greatest 

Vessels, the cargoes of which consisted of provisions, were more 
severely attacked by the disease than those loaded with dry goods. 
Old ships, and those whose cargoes consisted of organic or porous 
substances were more deeply infected ; these facts prove that the yel- 
low fever is produced by miasms. 

It is quite extraordinary that vessels loaded with coal were fright- 
fully stricken by the yellow fever; an observation corroborated by 
that of Dr. Schuyler, the doctor of the steamship Orinoco ; this gen- 
tleman observed that whenever coal was being taken on board in any 
quantity the crew presented many cases of pernicious fever. These 
effects are doubtless produced by the porosity of the coal, in which 
consequently is absorbed a great quantity of organic exhalations, in a 
state of putrefaction. 

Vessels moored near the mouths of the city sewers were more 
severely attacked than those anchored in the middle of the bay. 

188 Testimony of Dr. Paula Candida . 

From all these observations we may conclude : 1st that old miasms, 
or miasms contained in porous bodies, or organic matters in a stale of 
putrefaction, augment the deleterious effects of an epidemic of yellow 
fever: 2nd, that these miasms in certain quantities, almost always 
produce epidemics. 

We have now to resolve the following question : — " Do the causes 
of yellow fever consist solely of miasms? " I am inclined to think it 
is so, on considering the direct proportion of the intensity of the yel- 
low fever to the miasms produced in places in which there exists a 
large quantity of matters which produce miasmatic exhalations. But 
to this it may be said ; " these producing causes of yellow fever always 
exist, since the locality of the city is always the same, and neverthe- 
less the yellow fever has committed its ravages only from time to time 
and at periods very distant from each other ; so that we must suppose 
that only miasms produced in certain atmospheric and meteorological 
circumstances cause this malady in the form of an epidemic." This 
opinion agrees with the observations of some eminent chemists, that 
organic decompositions differ in chemical products according to the 
state of the temperature and the influence of moisture. 

This question appears to me to be very easily solved in the following 
manner : 

Miasms without doubt produce the yellow fever ; hut in order to produce 
it there must be a combination of meteorological and atmospheric influences, 
capable of producing in human bodies a re-action which manifests itself in 
the symptoms of yellow fever. The same miasms in different circumstan- 
ces produce typhoid fevers, scarlatina, measles, whooping cough, &c. If 
these conditions are wanting, it is impossible for yellow fever to develop 
itself, and this is why although an infected ship may be in a port, the dis- 
ease cannot re-produce itself in the city without the addition of circum- 
stances which favor its development. These are meteorological condi- 
tions which give the character to the disease produced by the miasms, 
and an excessively humid and hot'condition of the atmosphere ; which 
causes such a condition of the miasms that they develop the symptoms of 
yellow fever. 

In the year 1850, these conditions combined at Rio de Janeiro, and 
hence, the yellow fever developed itself in that city ; that is to say ; the 
epidemic of 1850 was the result of accumulated circumstances, all pro- 
ductive of yellow fever. 

Rcsum'e : The exterior causes of yellow fever exist in certain meteoro- 
logical circumstances, joined to miasms of organic substances, modified 
in such a manner by the influence of heat and humidity that instead of 
producing some other disease they produce the yellow fever. 
Interior Causes of the Organism. 

Whoever has studied the causes of epidemics, of miasms, formed spon- 
taneously, or in presence of an exciting cause, equivalent to miasm, such as 
bad food or water, fatigue, &c. &c, must have observed every moment that 

Testimony of iJr. Paula Candido. 189 

there exists a certain condition, a certain matter, which renders the organ- 
ism susceptible of suffering the epidemic action, or of not being able 
to resist this same action, and this matter it is that I call the interior 
cause. This opinion agrees with that of the great English physiolo- 
gist, Dr. Carpenter. I will give his own expressions : " We must be- 
lieve that the predisposing causes of epidemics produce in the blood 
an excess of decomposed principles, which circulate with the blood in 
small proportions which are formed, are deposited, circulate, to escape 
in the form of secretions. The circumstances which produce or aug- 
ment the excess of these decomposed material principles are, first, the 
food and drink ; second, the air respired ; third, its production in dispro- 
portion to the eliminations by the respective secretory organs ; fourth, the 
checking of the secretions. To call these matters, pre-existing in the or- 
ganism, occasional causes is a logical absurdity, since they are so essen- 
tial that without the addition of them there could never be any epidem- 
ics. In order that there may be epidemic there must exist a predisposi- 
tion for it." The causes which render individuals susceptible to any epi- 
demic (cholera, yellow fever, plague &c.) are the same in all epidemics, 
so that on the invasion of an epidemic it may in general be said : " There 
must be a certain general condition of the body, and a specific poison." 

We have now to point out what is this general condition of the body, 
or this matter, on which we now see the specific external exciting cause 
act, how it is formed and accumulates in the organism : 

1st. Excessive indulgence in food, especially in animal food, forms, in 
many persons, a fatal cause of yellow fever. It appears that the excess 
of chyle passed into the circulation, and submitted by means of respiration 
to the exciting action of the infected atmosphere, affords a material for 
the yellow fever. 

2d. Too fatiguing exercise, insulation, and whatever influence can 
urge the circulation or can produce a febrile movement, gives an oppor- 
tunity for the invasion of yellow fever. 

3d. Organic diseases of the principal organs, as, for instance, of the 
uterus, the stomach, the liver. I have observed that lying-in women are 
much more affected by this epidemic than others. 

4th. The peculiar constitution of persons born in the North or in cold 
countries. Foreigners living in the city, and foreign ships were more 
severely affected by the yellow fever than the ships belonging to the 
Empire, or from the adjacent coasts. 

In the epidemic of the year 1850, I made a peculiar observation, and 
it is the following : 

The odor of the perspiration, even of persons not attacked by the 
disease, or of persons who had already suffered from it, is characteristic of 
the yellow fever ; this perspiration emitted the same odor as persons sick 
with yellow fever. That proves to me that there exists a real absorption 
and excretion of miasms productive of this disease, alike in all individuals ; 
but in order for disease to break out there must be that peculiar predis- 
position, which I have called the internal cause. 

190 Testimony of Dr. Paula Candido. 

Reviewing all these considerations, we can conclude : 
1st. That in order that the yellow fever may exist, there must neces- 
sarily be present miasms, or their equivalents, which serve as exciting 

2d. That there must also, indispensably, be present in the economy, 
physiological products on which the miasms can act ; that is to say, there 
must be a predisposition. 

Transmitted to the Sanitary Commission by the Author. 

Advice : 1st — Against the propagation of yellow fever : 2d — For its 
treatment on board ships. 

The epidemic which ravaged Rio de Janeiro, and other parts of the 
Brazilian coast in 1850, was certainly the yellow fever ; fullness of 
the face ; redness and sparkling of the eyes ; red suffusion of the skin, 
disappearing for the moment under pressure ; weight and pain in the 
frontal region; pain in the back, loins, thighs and legs; all diminish- 
ing, and even ceasing, from the second to the third day ; nausea, 
vomitings, and pains in the stomach ; and lastly the yellow color, 
commencing in the conjunctiva ; delirium, often at the last moment ; 
scanty urine, red, blackish, or sanguineous ; haemorrhage ; depression ; 
restlessness ; black vomit, and the peculiar odor exhaling from it, 
leave no doubt as to the nature of this epidemic. 

From February, 1850, to the end of May, its epidemic character 
cannot be contested, seeing that persons who did not see any of those 
sick with it, and who were in the best hygenic condition, were af- 
fected by it ; and we may say, without exaggeration, that at this 
epoch two-thirds of the population were attacked. At half a league 
from the shore, or at the height of three hundred feet, the epidemic 
stopped short, and that at the very moment when it was raging 
with the intensity in town, especially among Europeans. 

From last year, as at present, the disease no longer presents the 
same epidemic character; that is to say, it no longer attacks all 
indiscriminately. The only, or almost the only victims, are found 
among those who inhabit certain infected houses, or those who ex- 
pose themselves to the broiling sun, to fatigue, to table, or sexual 
excesses, and who generally frequent infected places 

An eye witness of its ravages for three years, constantly observing 
it, I have come to the conviction that the miasms diffused in this 
capital, (meaning those with which the houses were impregnated, and 
the accumulation of which formerly gave intermittent fever, diarrhoea, 
erysipelas — under certain meteorological conditions,) underwent a 
change under the influence of the miasms which the numerous vessels 
arriving from Bahia brought hither, and thus transformed into miasms 
producing yellow fever ; and that this same transformation continues 
under the action of the leaven or exciting agent, once it is received 
in the unventilated foci which sailors generally frequent, such as 

Testimony of Dr. Paula Candida. 3 91 

ships, and many other localities without sufficient air, and which are 
not kept clean. 

Preservative Measures. 

This admitted, it must be necessary, 1st — to exterminate all foci 
of ordinary miasms; and, 2d — to destroy the yellow fever miasms 
already formed, and which may extend their transform atory action, 
and carry the yellow fever wherever they may find other (ordinary) 
miasms, susceptible of being transformed into misams productive of 
yellow fever, in circumstances favorable to its transformation. 

I advise, then, in order to get rid of these two sorts of miasms on 
board of vessels, first — to clear them of all bilge, and other dirty 
water, that may have accumulated in them; secondly — to lime-wash 
their whole interior ; thirdly — to wash all the linen of the crews with 
chlorides ; fourthly — to place on the keel, (under the lower deck,) from 
one hundred to one hundred and fifty pounds of disinfecting powder ; 
fifthly — to fumigate all the several compartments of the ships with 
sulphur, with the hatches, doors, and all other openings closed. ( I 
begin by laying a thick bed of gravel or sand in each compartment ; 
I then place sixteen or thirty-two pounds of sulphur on this bed, ac- 
cording to the capacity of the compartment ; I set fire to it and shut 
the hatches, only opening them occasionally to watch the combustion 
of the sulphur, and to give sufficient air to keep it up. The hatches 
ought not to be permanently opened till three or four days afterwards.) 
Sixthly — to spread, during the work of loading and unloading, some 
disinfecting powder on the goods; seventhly — never to allow dirty 
linen, which may have been used by the sailors or by passengers, to 
be kept, (were it only for a single day,) whatever pieces it may con- 
sist of, without having remained at least twenty-four hours in salt 
water, in chloridated water, or in lime water, and having been com- 
pletely dried ; eighthly — to wash, or, at all events, to whiten with 
lime the timbers, and every uncovered wooden surface, every fifteen 
days during the voyage; ninthly — to maintain, besides, the greatest 
cleanliness everywhere. 

Experience has taught us that it is at the time of discharging ships 
that there is danger, especially when wet and cold weather supervenes ; 
(I understand the lowering of temperature, within certain limits, above 
20 deg. Reaumur, nearly.) The reason of this is that the surrounding 
air becoming heavier than the hot air at the bottom of the hold, mounts 
with its miasms, to be replaced with the heavier and moister, a condition 
which is favorable to the evolution of miasms, and thus affects the crews. 
Our cool nights in the tropics, following hot days, produce an analogous 
effect, although a less intense one. It is then that the greater part of 
mariners are effected, especially those who sleep near the hatchway. 

In very grave cases, and in those in which there are well-founded sus- 
picions, in addition to the process of disinfection which has just been 
mentioned, I advise the introduction into the interior of the vessel, with 

192 Testimony of Dr. Paula Candido. 

closed hatches, (after having cleared the hold of bilge Avater,) by means 
of a conducting tube, of a jet of steam for several hours, or even for a 
whole day, until the temperature shall have been raised throughout the 
vessel ; after which the combustion of sulphur and disinfecting powder, 
<fec, should be emploved, as we have just said. 

It would be desirable that every vessel intended for commerce in ports 
infected with pestilential diseases, should be furnished with a system of 
tubes, each of which should reach from the bottom of each compartment 
of the ship, and should meet in a common tube, which should afford a 
constant issue for the gases contained in the several compartments, aiding 
the elevation of the temperature by the kitchen fire ; in which, or near 
which, the common tube should pass ; those miasms only which have 
been retained or kept pent up for a long time, being dangerous. 

There is danger of the transmissibility of yellow fever, only under three 
conditions : First, from miasms (which I call ordinary miasms) in the 
port ; especially those with which dwellings are impregnated. Second, 
from a temperature below 20 deg. Reaumur, especially in damp weather. 
Third, from yellow fever miasms to modify the ordinary miasms. 

Consequently, to prevent the transmission of the disease in seaports, it 
is necessary, — 1st, to maintain the greatest cleanliness, public and private 
in dwellings, and to destroy the miasms which may be found on board 
vessels coming from suspected places. 

For this purpose, it is proper : 

First — To discharge the vessel beyond the reach of the population. 
During this opei*ation, which ought to be effected in the open air, 
the chloride of lime or disinfecting powder should be employed, and 
the merchandise ought to be exposed to the air as soon as possible. 
Merchandise not being in general the agent by which yellow fever miasms 
are transported, but rather the water at the bottom of the hold and the 
timbers of the vessel, the action of the air and fumigations of the more 
suspected articles will suffice ; a particular care ought, on the other hand, 
to be bestowed on the ship. 

Such are the means of neutralizing, and such are the caases which have 
induced the re-appearance and the continuance of epidemics on board of 
vessels, even after they have been subjected to the most thorough wash- 
ings, the most careful fumigations, &c; the miasms were, as it were, in 
reserve in their strongholds, the pores of the ship. 

The precautions above enumerated, destroy the two sorts of miasms 
which may be developed or introduced into the interior of vessels. 
Chlorine cannot be trusted to. The yellow fever miasms easily transform 
themselves into carbonic acid under the influence of the air or of oxygen ; 
they resist chlorine, as experience has shown me. The preference which 
I give to sulphurous acid is explained : First, by the elevation of the 
temperature of the wood of the vessels, from which ensues the disengage- 
ment of the miasms absorbed by wood and other porous bodies. Second, 
by the action of the sulphurous gas, combining with the oxygen and 
hydrogen of the miasms forming water and sulphuric acid. Third, lastly, 

Testimony of Correspondent G. 19 

and most certainly, according to the demonstrations of experience, animal 
food, fish, meat — especially salt — cheese, milk, &c, appear injurious, 
their ready decomposition into yellow fever miasms, under the influence 
of vitiated respiration being probably the cause ; fruits and everything 
that disturbs digestion, come next. Abstinence is the best guarantee for 
those who live in a miasmatic atmosphere ; it destroys, or causes to be 
burnt by respiration, the chief ingredient of miasms or infection. 

Cooling one-self so as to suppress perspiration, and with it the disen- 
gagement of miasms formed or received in the blood, ought to be carefully 
avoided. We every day see the first menaces of the disease disappear 
before the application of woollen to the skin, as also before sudorifics 
employed at the commencement of the sufferings, (which, moreover, are 
by no means correspondent to the intensity of the disease which they 
announce,) and before a very strict diet. This is a point in the history 
of yellow fever, to which sufficient attention is not paid, but which is 
nevertheless of the highest importance, considered as a preventive. 


"Frequent reference to the yellow fever of Rio do Janeiro having, of 
late, been in the New Orleans prints and letters, to the effect that the fever 
now prevailing there was imported from Rio, giving the name of 
the vessel, and that it might have been prevented by quarantine regula- 
tions ; also, that "the fever, which was more malignant than ever known, 
was of a similar character as the Rio fever, being something like the 
plague, the corpses after death having black spots on them," thus leaving 
the inference that the Rio fever was the worst kind for virulence and extent, 
giving most erroneous opinions of the health of Rio, and creating a most 
unnecessary alarm. The undersigned being a resident of Rio, feels called 
upon to state a few facts in the case, that the public may be correctly in- 
formed, and judge of the propriety of renewing the antiquated notion of 
quarantine to prevent contagion, or feeling uncalled for anxiety for friends 
who maybe visiting Rio while the fever is prevailing. 

Prior to 1850, Rio was considered the most healthy tropical city in the 
world, no fatal epidemic having ever visited it ; yellow fever and cholera 
were unknown. Early in February, 1850, some cases of fever occurred 
on board a vessel from Philadelphia, which terminated fatally, with all the 
signs of yellow fever. Others were soon reported on board ship and on 
shore. It spread rapidly, so in April, when it was at its height, the total 
number of deaths were from one hundred and sixty to one hundred and 
eighty per day. From 1st May it decreased, and in June it had nearly 
disappeared. The average of deaths while it prevailed was fifty per day 
for lour months; two-thirds being by the fever. The disease was not so 
virulent and rapid as it usually is in Havana, and with immediate and pro- 
per treatment a large proportion recovered. The population of Rio Ja- 

194 Testimony of Correspondent G. 

neiro is about two hundred and fifty thousand, and the number of vessels 
in port was very large, many bound to California with passengers. Ex- 
posure and imprudence always increase the number of victims, and all 
know that none are more exposed than seamen, or more careless. 

The same fever pervaded the whole Brazilian coast in 1850. AtBahia 
it was traced to a vessel from New Orleans, and believed by many to have 
been imported in her. With equal propriety, it might have been said to 
have been imported into Rio from Philadelphia. Both would be absurdi- 
ties, as the vessels left the United States in the winter season, and never 
had any sickness on board till after their arrival. 

The epidemic was no doubt an atmospheric one, somewhat like the cho- 
lera. A malaria pervaded the whole coast ; this was proved by several 
cases of fever appearing on board vessels from Europe prior to arrival. 
It was probably a visitation in lieu of the cholera, which has visited every 
part of the world except Brazil. 

The fever was confined exclusively to the city and suburbs. It did not 
spread into the interior, so that there was a safe and speedy retreat to a 
place of safety for all those who could leave the city. 

In 1851, there were a few sporadic cases, but it never could be called 
epidemic on shore. The cases on shipboard were more numerous, but, 
with proper care, they were not very fatal. The same remarks apply to 

The fever this year has been worse than in 1851 or '52 — having begun 
earlier than usual ; but not nearly so bad as would be supposed by the 
reports published in the public prints. It is true that there have been 
some severe cases, but they were isolated oues, and exceptions. 

The true test are the bills of mortality, which are daily published, in 
the most particular manner, officially. Their correctness has never been 
doubted by those who know the city and the facts. I have carefully ex- 
amined them, and collected the following results, which may be relied on 
as correct. 

Average daily deaths at Rio, from official reports, blacks and slaves in- 

Jan 5 Yellow Fever. *1 Consumption. Total, all diseases, 28 

Feb 1 " 6 " " " " 27 

March.. 5 " 6 " " " " 26 

April... 5 " 5 " " " " 24 

May 4 " 5 " " « « 20 

Average of five months — 
5 1-5 6 

About five-eighths of the deaths by fever were in the hospitals, which 
are well arranged and managed. At the hospital appropriated to seamen, 
at Jurujuba Bay, by the published weekly reports, in May the deaths were 
only IV per cent, of the number entering, at that time about fifty per week. 
This was after a steamer was provided by the Board of Health to receive 
patients and take them to the hospital. The steamer was provided with 

Testimony of Mr. Wm. Lilley. 195 

beds, physician and medicines, so that no time was lost in treating the 
disease. Previous to this, many were in the last stages before they were 
taken to the hospital, consequently, many more deaths. 

By the bills of mortality examined, it appeared that the number of 
deaths of persons from seventy years and upwards, ( averaging 80 1-3 
years ) were 3^ per cent, of the whole number, when, daily, the average 
was twenty-five. The daily average at other seasons is under twenty. 
Three were 111, 115 and 118 years. Few if any cities can show a simi- 
lar result. 

The number of deaths by consumption has increased very much of late 
years. This is frequently ascribed by the Brazilians to vaccination, as pre- 
vious to its introduction consumptive cases were very rare. 

The name of the vessel stated in the New Orleans print as having in- 
troduced the fever there from Rio, was the Adelaide. No vessel of this 
name can be found as having loaded at Rio for New Orleans, or to have 
arrived there." G. 

Department of State, Washington, June 12th, 1854. 


Sir: — I inclose, herewith, a communication from Joseph Graham, 
Esq., U. S. Consul at Buenos Ayres, addressed to you, and also, the 
original of a dispatch to this Department, from William Lilley, Esq., 
U. S. Consul at Pernambuco, in reply to the Circular of the New Or- 
leans Sanitary Commission, sent through this Department. 
I am, Sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

W. L. Marcy. 

testimony of mr. wm. lilley. 

United States Consulate, ) 
Pernambuco, April 24, 1854. \ 


Sir : — In reply to the circular, sent by the Sanitary Commission of 
New Orleans, and forwarded by the State Department at Washington, I 
have the honor to submit the following report. In collecting such infor- 
mation as is called for by these questions, you, of course, have to wait the 
convenience of scientific men, as no one can be presumed to be in pos- 
session of all the facts who is not a practicing physician ; hence it is that 
this matter has been delayed much longer than I at first intended. Even 
now, it is by no means full. To such questions as the estimate of the pop- 
ulation of the town, males or females, under or over such an age, to what 
country they belong, whether foreigners or natives, it is entirely impossible 
to give any answer that could be relied upon, for the reason that there is 
not one iota of statistics to be found in this place upon these subjects. 
Such answers, however, as I have been able to obtain, I forward, and in 
doing so, I cannot acknowledge my indebtedness in too strong a manner, 

106 Testimony of Mr. Wm. Lilley. 

to Dr. Arbuckle, a very intelligent physician, long a resident of this place, 
for his kindness in aiding me to give the answers I send ; which are as 
follows : 

The name of the locality is Pernambueo ; for its limits and boundaries, 
see inclosed map. The surface of the soil is sandy. Water for drinking 
is brought in iron tubes from a spring about six miles distant from Per- 
nambueo. There has been no clearing of lands or disturbing of the soil 
that could possibly account for the development of yellow fever, and its 
annual return at the same season at which it first made its appearance. 

Situated on the edge of the sea, Pernambueo is twice intersected by the 
tortuous winding of the river Capeberibe, at the mouth of which it is 
placed. For many miles around the town the soil is sandy, a little above 
the sea, from which it has evidently been reclaimed. In the wet season 
it is mostly marshy, especially towards the North, where, near to Olinda, 
there is constantly a large lake of stagnant water. 

My informant says that the first case of yellow fever that he saw died 
on the seventeenth of August, 1849, after suffering sixty hours from the 
ordinary symptoms of the disease, with a cerebral tendency. From Sept. 
1849 until the end of the year, sudden and unexpected deaths occurred in 
the practice of several medical men here, but as none of them had ever 
previously seen a case of yellow fever, and all were of the firm belief that 
such a disease was not to be met with in Brazil, such cases were set down 
as anomalous. None of these cases had been in a locality where yellow 
fever was prevailing, unless the epidemics of 1846 and '47, and 1848 and 
'49, which prevailed in almost all the maritime towns of Brazil, are to be 
considered as modifications of yellow fever. In symptoms, character and 
spread, they certainly resemble it quite as much as the " dengue " does 
the yellow fever of New Orleans. 

There is, I think, no more satisfactory evidence as regards the propa- 
gation of the disease by the handling of goods, and direct intercourse 
with others, than for the annual return of the disease at the same season 
at which it first made its appearance. 

As to cases which appeared to have originated spontaneously, the first 
epidemic of yellow fever in Pernambueo began in January, 1850. In 
less than three months almost the entire population felt its influence. 
It invaded the town by districts, beginning in that most distant from the 
shipping, and ending in that nearest to it. Its spread did not appear to 
depend so much upon personal intercourse as upon some cause generally 
diffused throughout the atmosphere of the section in which it prevailed. As 
an instance of the rapidity of its spread may be mentioned that of a family 
of fifteen persons, fourteen of them suffered from it at one time ; and in 
many small families, all of them were attacked at the same time. The 
place remained dangerous to strangers, whether from Europe or the inte- 
rior, long after the epidemic had seemingly subsided. Many cases have 
been seen whose origin could not possibly be traced to contagion. 

As regards the population, their personal and social habits, <fec., stran- 
gers of all kinds, even those from the interior of the country, residing at 

Testimony of Mr. Wm. Lille y. 197 

such a small distance from town that there could be little or no difference 
of temperature of climate, suffered most severely. As regards habits, 
the intemperate suffered severely ; also, all persons suffering from 
chronic diseases, especially of the liver or kidneys. I am inclined to the 
opinion that the circumstance of living on a ground floor was disadvan- 
tageous to many. 

As to the prominent symptoms, progress &c, of the disease, the 
symptoms, progress, duration and termination of the cases of yellow 
fever that occurred here exactly correspond with those laid down by 
practical authors on this subject. The proportion of cases in which 
black vomit made its appearance amongst those recently arrived from 
Europe would amount to fully one-fourth, whilst among the acclimated, 
it was under one per cent. A large proportion with yellowness of 
skin. Amongst new comers, and consequently, bad cases, haemorrhage, 
especially epistaxis, was of very frequent occurrence, but in what pro- 
portion it is impossible to say, as medical attention during the first epi- 
demic was much more directed to the immediate wants of the people 
than to the advancement of science. As a proof of a disorganized state 
of the blood, I may also state that females uniformly suffered from a 
return of their periodical discharges ; no matter how soon the attack 
came on after the monthly periods ; and that in several bad cases where 
leeches had been applied the bleeding from their bites could not be 

During the prevalence of the epidemic of this place, in 1850, with 
the exception of a case of small-pox, and another of epilepsy, Dr. A. 
does not recollect of having seen any disease except the then prevailing 

The English brig Glaucus anchored in the outer roads of this port 
on Sunday, January 22, 1852, after a passage of thirty-three days from 
St. Johns, New Brunswick, The day following she came into the inner 
harbor, and on Tuesday, the 24th instant, sent a seaman to the yellow 
fever hospital, suffering very slightly from the ordinary symptoms of 
an attack of the prevailing epidemic, though he had neither been pre- 
viously on shore, or near any one ill of the disease. The attack, being 
a very mild one, yielded to the ordinary treatment, and he returned to 
his vessel on Friday, the 27th. On Sunday, the 29th, he became in- 
toxicated on shore, and on the following day returned to the hospital, 
where he died on "Wednesday, February 1st, with black vomit and 
other marked symptoms of yellow fever. 

I do, most undoubtedly, regard the epidemic as yellow fever. 

As to the number of deaths by black vomit it is impossible to give 
an answer. 

Dr. Arbuckle says he has seen ten persons recover after having the 
decided black vomit. 

Many cases of second, and some of third attack have come under 
Dr. Arbuckle's observation, and he also says he was once called to a 
lady who died of what she called the fourth attack. 

198 Testimony of Mr. Joseph Graham. 

The disease has occurred in some of the rural districts, but I am 
not aware of its having been spread by contagion. 

Dr. Arbuckle states that it has been asserted by most respectable 
authority ( vide London Medical Gazette ), No. 12, 17, that yellow 
fever was imported into Bahia, September 30, 1849, by the American 
brig Brazil, from New Orleans, via Havana, but the evidence, he says, 
is not satisfactory and weakened, he thinks, by the fact of a person 
having died in Pernambuco of black vomit on the 17th of August, 1849, 
and the circumstance that when the fever returns in any of the mara- 
time towns of Brazil, it almost uniformly does so at the season it first 
made its appearance in that town, and also by its having been pre- 
ceded by two epidemics of an eruptive arthritic or rheumatic fever, 
which broke out at the same season and spread in the same manner 
as yellow fever did. 

Its origin is not any more obscure than that of the influenza, which 
occasionally visits Europe and North America. 

It is quite impossible that it could have been imported into Per- 
nambuco from Africa directly. Besides, that part of the town nearest 
the shipping, instead of being the first, was the very last to feel the 
influence of the epidemic. 

The colored population of the town suffered least of any from the 
epidemic, but all those recently from the interior of the country did 
not escape so easily. W. L. 


Consulate of the United States, Buenos Ayres, March, 9th, 1854. 


Gents : — I received your circular, propounding various queries, rela- 
tive to this locality, on the loth ult. I have sought such information 
as I judge may be of service in promoting the object you have in view, 
it is not so complete as I would wish, yet may not be without interest. 

I beg leave to reply, in same order, as the questions are placed. 

The locality is Buenos Ayres, a city situated on the right bank of the 
La Plata, which at this place, is about thirty miles wide. Latitude 34 ° 
35m. South, longitude 58° 31m. West, about two hundred miles from 
the sea. Its limits are two miles from North to South, and one and a 
half miles from East to West. Bounded on the East by the river La 
Plata, North and West by extensive plains destitute of trees, and South 
by a creek and low marshy lands ; in the immediate neighborhood there 
are shade and fruit trees. 

The surface of the soil is a black earth, mixed with sand. 

The water used for drinking, is that of the river, and cistern water. 

There has been no clearing of lands, or disturbance of soil. 

Standing pools of water are quite common in the neighborhood, and 
even in the streets of the city. 

Testimony of Mr. Joseph Graham. 


From the nature of the country, there is no drainage. 

The accompanying meteorological statement, is all I have to offer. 

Within the last thirty years, there have been several general epidemics 
among cattle, occasioned by droughts ; the health of the inhabitants 
does not appear to be affected by them. 

This place has never been visited by any epidemic, save small pox and 
scarlet fever. Yellow fever has never made its appearance here. 

The population is about one hundred and twenty-five thousand souls, 
at the highest calculation, of whom about half are natives, the remainder 
Italians, French, Basques, English, Germans, and a few from other coun- 
tries. The most remarkable feature in this locality, is this : — about 
one mile South, is a creek, upon which is situated, the establishments for 
killing cattle, mares, horses, &c, for their flesh, grease and hides. The 
air is constantly laden with putrid effluvia, which is blown over the 
city by a Southerly wind. All the refuse is carried into the creek, and 
thence to the river. So bad is the water of the creek, that when the 
fish are forced in, by the high tides, they all die, and are seen floating 
upon the surface. The population on this creek, say six or eight thou- 
sand, suffer, as little, probably less, from disease, than that of the city ; 
they generally have a healthier appearance. The mass of them are 
foreigners, Irish, Italians, Basques, and a few of other nations. 

There are no regularly established sanitary regulations ; no account 
kept of the mortality. 

I inclose, herewith, a letter from Dr. H. W. Kennedy, formerly of 
Philadelphia, and now a practicioner of great eminence, in this city, to 
whom I handed your circular. You will perceive he resided a number 
of years in Parana, and has given what, I presume, will be useful in- 
formation, in regard to that place, and I am also indebted to him for 
most of the facts herein contained. 

Hoping that your investigations may result advantagously to the 
health of your renowned and important city. 


JW 2. 

3 o £ 


I Indies. I Milmetres. | Milmetree. 



November, . 
December, . 


February, . . 


1 JL 


2 J! 


4 Ji 


2 il 


3 ^L 



As a general rule, the climate may be considered damp in winter, dry 
in summer. At all times mould will form, green base, white surface. 

J. G. 

200 Testimony of Dr. Henry W. Kennedy. 


Buenos Aybes, February 21, 1854. 


My Bear Sir — In compliance with a promise made you a short time 
since, I herewith transmit a statement of the " local " general health and 
prevailing diseases of the city of Parana, where, as you are aware, I 
resided a number of years. 

The Parana at present is the capital of the thirteen provinces of the 
Argentine Confederation and of Entre Bios, one of the provinces ; it is 
situated on the left bank of the river Parana, about 500 miles from the 
sea, in lat. 31 deg. 45 min. 15 sec. S.; long. GO deg. 47 min. 38 sec. W. 
of Greenwich. The port is formed by a bend of the river, and like all 
other parts ( of the river ), is subject to the changes of a sandy bottom 
and a strong current always setting down, as well as to the rise and fall 
which attends rivers receiving large tributaries and running through a 
great extent of territory. About 1200 or 1300 feet above low water 
mark the land rises abruptly about 100 feet; on reaching the level of the 
elevation, some houses and huts are met, irregularly situated, and at about 
2000 yards the city commences, and the principal square is about 600 
yards further, situated about 125 feet above the level of the river. The 
town runs in a NW. and SE. direction, straggling over about two 
miles, and in width, NE. and SW. about a mile ; it contains about 6000 
or 7000 souls, including the neighboring country. The principal houses 
are one story — say 15 to 18 feet high — with flat roofs, and built around 
a hollow square ; the rest of the habitations are built of brick or mud, 
and thatched with straw. The food is beef and bread ; vegetables are 
not abundant and but little variety. During the summer, fruit is abund- 
ant, melons, figs, grapes, peaches, &c. The soil is black earth mixed 
with sand, the sub-soil, clay mixed with particles of lime-stone ; beneath 
this is a strata of lime-stone of variable quality. The water drank is 
cistern and river water, the latter containing lime and iron in minute 
quantities. There has been no clearing of lands nor any disturbance of 
soil for any purpose whatever. There is no other river in the neighbor- 
hood than the one mentioned, which is very broad and rapid. No 
swamps nor stagnant lakes or pools of water. The water readily runs 
oft' into the river, and the surface does not remain long wet (even after 
heavy rains ) after the weather clears up. At foot you will find a table 
of the meteorology of the place, so far as I can give it you. The climate 
is mild and dry, with the exception of two or three months of winter, 
when we have generally damp, cold days. The people of all classes live 
in the open air, and only care for shelter during rain or the time passed 
in sleep. From the mildness of the climate and simple food, one would 
suppose that the inhabitants would enjoy generally good health, but 
this is not the case ; the custom of smoking tobacco and sipping at all 
hours the infusion of a plant called "yuba mate," (Ilex Paraguaniensis ) 
is so universal among all classes and both sexes, combined with the inac- 

Testimony of Dr. Hgnry W. h'cnimiti. 


tive life led by the mass of females, that chronic diseases of the alimentary 
canal, particularly of the upper part of it are quite common. Acute 
and chronic diseases of the uterus are common. Acute diseases of the 
chest, frequent; of the head, rare; pulmonary consumption, very rare. 
Intermittent, typhus and typhoid fevers, unknown. I do not think that 
in the nine years I practiced there that I ever saw one undoubted case of 
idiopathic fever. The only epidemic, apart from the measles and whooping 
cough, was small-pox, although scarlet fever had prevailed some years 
previous to my residence there. Bronchocele is quite common, as it is 
in almost all the towns on the same river. Yellow fever is totally un- 
known, and so far as I can learn, has never made its appearance on this 
river or its tributaries. There is one thing remarkable here, that is, with 
a temperature averaging more than 80 deg. in the shade for three 
months in the year ; there is no malaria on the edges of the river, for the 
people who reside there enjoy, if there is any difference, better health 
than those who live on the hitrh land. II. W. K. 

Statement of temperature, number of rainy days, and quantity of rain 

which fell, in the Parana, during the years 1848-1849. 


Temperature. Days of Rain. Quantity. — in. 1U0. 

1848.— March 72° 8 £ 5 92 

April 71 2 | 50 

Mav > 65 $ 4 <§' 83 

June | 61 §-8 ? 4 25 

July ^54 SI §0 42 

August g 61 jl g 2 50 

September | 68 «' 2 -J 46 

October | 74 g- 4 ? 5 66 

November 3 70 ?5 S 4 29 

December 2 80 .8 5 § 1 00 

1849.— January 84 5 7 39 

February 80 5 5 00 

1849.— March 77° 3 1 38 

April f 71 5 J 3 83 

May B 63 ^ no rain. 

June ^63 | no rain. °£ 

July J 58 2 4 § 2 85 

August g"56 J 3 17 

September g 62 |t6 | 5 54 

October J 65 ^ 4 * 2 02 

November 5" 77 '1 3 ^ 3 00 

December '4 80 "=36 Z 3 27 

1850.— January g 83 1 % ICO 

February "83 4 3 21 

26 " 

202 Testimony of Mr. Noble Towner. 





I inclose answers to the various questions of the Sanitary Committee, 
of New Orleans, as requested by the Hon. Win. L. Marcy, Secretary of 
State, so far as they could be obtained, and have to acknowledge my 
thanks for the same to James W. Sinckler, M. D., of this Island ; 
to which I will add a few remarks of my own, having had considerable 
experience during the epidemic of 1852, in my family ; which consisted 
at that time of myself, wife, wife's mother, son (aged 19| years) and two 
daughters, (one of 13 and the other 6 years.) At the time the fever 
broke out I had resided on the Island most of the time for five years, my 
son two years, and the rest of my family six months. My son was taken 
on the first day of October, and died on the 5th ; he was taken at three 
o'clock in the morning with chills, headache, and violent pains in the back. 
The doctor did not bleed him the first day but did so on the second ; black 
vomit took place on the third day, and death on the fourth. The loca- 
tion where I was living, was called healthy ; fairly exposed to the wind, 
with no stagnant water in the neighborhood. By the advice of our phy- 
sician, we removed from the house the same day and took lodgings in the 
centre of the town. The following day my wife's mother, and my two 
daughters were taken ; all were treated Homoeopathically and recovered, 
after having our house thoroughly cleaned and fumigated, we returned to 
it ; about three weeks after leaving. In about a week after, I was taken 
with a violent fever about 11 o'clock at night, but with different symp- 
toms from those of my son, and the rest of my family ; having had but 
little headache, no chills nor any pain in the back. The remedies used 
happily worked well, and the fever began to subside in the course of eight 
hours. Both my son and myself were treated upon the Allopathic sys- 
tem ; I however was not bled, which had been the universal case in former 
fevers with the physician that attended us. I will add that when the fever 
first commenced, he bled every patient and all died ; this led him to adopt 
the opposite course, and at first with not much better success. He re- 
marked to me one day that it was a different fever from what he had 
known during his practice of over fifty years. If he bled, the patient 
died, and if he did not bleed, the result was the same ; all our physicians 
were of opinion that the disease was different from anything they had 
ever before experienced ; in some cases after the patients had lost all 
symptoms of the yellow fever and were appearantly recovering, they were 
taken with low sinking typhus, which resulted in death in sixteen days in 
one case, and seventeen in another ; no sanitary measures were used. It 
raged as much, or more, in the rural districts as in the city, which I am 
told was never the case before, it having been heretofore confined to the 
city and garrison. Another peculiar feature in this disease, was that black 
vomit were attached, which was previously a thing almost unknown. 

Your obedient servant, Noble Towner. 

Testimony of Br. J. W. Sinckler. 203 


Barbadoes, April 10, 1854. 

Sir : — I inclose answers to the inquiries of the Sanitary Commission 
of New Orleans, as requested by you some time since : 

I am, very respectfully, your ob't servant, 

Noble Towner, U. S. Consul. 

Hon. Wat. L. Marcy, Secretary of State, Washington. 


Barbadoes is a British West India island, twenty-one miles long, and 
four wide, bounded by the Atlantic ocean. 

The surface soil is principally limestone and clay. The drinking water 
is chiefly from wells ; some rain water is caught in tanks. 

There has been no extensive clearing of lands in the vicinity, or dis- 
turbance of soil by digging wells or canals, making roads, draining, &c. 

There are no rivers ; there are three or four swamps, but not stagnant. 

The drainage is very bad — principally surface, with but little tunnelling. 

During the fever the heat was intense, with rather a small quantity of 
electric fluid displaced : the winds Northerly. Several years past all the 
cocoanut trees were destroyed by blight. 

I am not prepared with a census ; but the entire population is about 
one hundred and fifty thousand, the females preponderating. There is no 
registry of births and deaths kept here as in large cities of Europe and of 
America. The large majority of the inhabitants are natives of the place; 
but few of the United States; but few of foreign countries, viz: French, 
Spanish and Portuguese; twenty -five thousand colored. 

There are no statistics to furnish such information ; but the entire num- 
ber of deaths was said to be about twelve hundred, the majority of whom 
were natives of the place; two of the United States; the majority being 

As regards ages, I cannot furnish the particulars, for want of statistics. 

The first case of disease occurred on the 19th of July, 1852. He was 
a native, a fisherman by trade, living at the market gate, with a stagnant 
pool of water at his door, and pigs in his yard. When first seen by me 
he was dying with black vomit. The disease after fifteen days broke out 
near a crowded churchyard, in a low situation, and four persons in one 
house died. It then seemed for a time to confine itself to that locality, 
but finally spread all over the Island, no situation being exempt. None of 
these cases had been in a locality where yellow fever Avas prevailing. 

I do not believe any cases to have arisen from the handling of goods, 
clothing, &c, nor from direct intercourse with other cases. The first case 
decidedly appeared to have originated spontaneously, without even the 
suspicion of intercourse with other cases. 

The disease skipped about in all directions, taking no traceable course, 
but being more violent when the wind was Southerly, and abating when 

Our population is not an intemperate one, but from its number and pov- 

204 Testimony of Mr, Charles J. Helm. 

erty is much crowded ; still, I cannot say that affected the character of 
the disease much, For death was equally rife in the healthiest locality. 

The prominent symptoms were shivering, headache, fever, (Track pulse 
and general pains. From the third to the fifth day the disease either ame- 
liorated or black vomit set in. A few cases commenced with vomiting, 
and black vomit has supervened in thirty hours after the attack. Black 
vomit occurred in about one case in five. Yellowness of skin followed 
all the cases. In some few cases, there was fearful haemorrhage. 

No other types of fever prevailed at the same time. I believe myself 
that an atmosphere, which had been infected by decomposed animal matter 
from a slaughter-house, produced the first case, and the Southerly winds 
kept it up. T am a non-contagionist. 

I regard the epidemic as most decidedly true yellow fever. I have seen 
the disease before, in Barbadoes, in 1836 and 1848. I saw twenty-three 
cases of black vomit in my own practice, in 1852, of whom fourteen re- 
covered. I have never seen a case of second or third attack. 

I cannot give the number of persons attendant on the sick, and other- 
wise liable to the disease, who escaped during the epidemic. The deaths 
usually occurred from the fifth to the seventh days; one occurred on the 
seventeenth day. 

I think it but fair to state that my patients were treated homceopathi- 

cally ; also, Dr. 's cases, and there is no doubt that a larger share 

of success attended that treatment than any other. Not a case of black 
vomit that had lost blood lived. The healthiest situations in the Island 
were not exempt. Prostration seemed the chief character of the disease. 

J. W. SlNCKLER, M. D., 

College Physicians and Surgeons, University, State of 2s ew York, 1834. 



St. Thomas, December 8, 1854. 


The soil in some parts of the Island is sandy, other parts are clayey. 

Cistern water is the only kind of water used on the Island. 

There has not been any removal of the soil for many years. 

The Island of St. Thomas is mountainous — there are no rivers, 
creeks, springs, swamps or pools of water on the Island. 

The water either runs off, or is absorbed by the sand, almost instantly 
upon falling, 

The population of St. Thomas is not known, the census not having 
been taken for many years. It is supposed there are about thirteen 
thousand souls, in all, white and black. 

The number of deaths of white persons over ten years of age, in 
1S52 and 1853, were four hundred and twenty-eight. Under ten 
years oi' age, two. Of whom two are natives ol* this place ; thirty- 

Testimony of Dr. Pretto. 205 

six of the United States, and three hundred and nine-two of foreign 

Threwere no colored persons died of the epidemic in 1852 and 1853. 

I cannot ascertain the number of cases — and for answers to the 
questions Which follow this, the Sanitary Commission is referred to 
the memorandum furnished by Dr. Daniel Pretto, an old and dis- 
tinguished physieian of this Islar.d — hereto attached : 


In the month of August, 1852, there were fifteen or sixteen cases 
on board of a French vessel, which arrived here from Guadaloupe, 
where the yellow fever then existed. 

The majority of cases were from on board French vessels ; but 
afterwards it became epidemic, and strangers of all denominations 
were attacked. 

Not entertaining the principle of contagion, I cannot otherwise 
than look upon all as epidemic. 

As already stated above, the origin of the disease was traced to 
vessels arriving here, from place or places, in which the fever was 
raging, and causing dreadful havoc. 

Very few cases were found amongst the inhabitants of the Island, 
those which died were isolated. 

An attack of yellow fever, of our last epidemic, in a well pro- 
ounced case, was manifested with the following symptoms : alternaten 
flushings, and rigors resolving within a few hours, into a perfect hot 
stage ; a sensation of heat, chiefly over the head and chest ; supra- 
orbital headache ; suffusion of face and part of lucid cornea ; preter- 
natural redness of the mucus membrane, of nose, lips, and tip and 
edges of tongue ; recti muscles of the abdomen tense, and well marked, 
without tympanitic distension ; thirst ; nausea proceeding on to 
retching and vomiting of ingesta, and of scanty yellow bilious fluid ; 
also evacuations dark, apparently long retained, bilious, and often 
foetid ; tenderness of epigastrium evinced on careful pressure, in some 
cases entirely wanting. These symptoms continued steady during two 
or three days ; the bilious ejections becoming greenish. The fever 
then subsides ; the skin becomes cool and pleasant ; the tongue shows 
a disposition to clean, and there is less feverishness of tip and edge ; 
thirst abates, and there is some appetite for food. The patients anxiety 
and morbid fear of death subside, and he is satisfied of his con- 
valescence ; by-and-by the eye, which has lost its glistening appearance, 
assumes, a condition of chronic vascularity, of a dull orange red. 
The flushed countenance gives way to a sottish appearance and 
greasy dirty complexion ; a yellowish suffusion is perceived in the 
sclerotica; the forehead has a dusky appearance, which extends also 
to the angles of the mouth, and over the neck and chest ; the stomach 
again becomes irritable, and clear mucus fluid is thrown off in 
considerable quantities; specks may be noticed in the fluid, as if a 
pinch of Bnuff had been mixed in it, or a tenacious dark deposit 

206 Testimony of Dr. Amic. 

is found in the basin. The gastric irritation may again subside, and 
the tongue will be clean, the fiery edge and tip disappear, the yellow 
or purple suffusion of surface is now more marked ; local uneasiness 
referred to the fauces, or to the oesophagus, or ensiform cartilage ; 
after a time a loss of vital power- shows itself by epistaxis or ecchy- 
mosis, and being uneasy, the patient turns himself in bed, and an 
involuntary gush of black vomit is spurted over the bed and furniture 
— blood oozing from the mouth, ears or nose ; the scrotum excoriated ; 
the blistered surfaces became raw and claret- colored ; the skin was 
cold and clammy, the fingers shrivelled, and an unpleasant odor ema- 
nated from the breath and body ; black vomit continued to be ejected ; 
the pulse lost its strength, till at last it ceased to be felt at the wrist, 
and the patient died with intelligence unclouded and his muscular 
strength little impaired. 

The symptoms above described existed in cases which run their 
regular course ; others had no time to complain, dying within twenty- 
four hours ; others again, proving fatal in two or three days, without any 
black vomit, and accompanied with convulsions ; others again, with 
haemorrhage ; others again took a typhoid nature, in fact the greater 
part of the cases which proved fatal, were complicated with typhoid 

There was no other fever to my knowledge. 

I regard the epidemic as yellow fever. 

I have seen the disease before. 

I have seen it on this Island during twenty -three years practice. 

Cannot state the number of cases, having kept no account of them. 

Death generally occurred in five or seven days. 




The Island of Martinique, like all other of the West Indies, is com- 
posed of one of those volcanic masses which mark the continuation 
of the submarine chain of the Andes. This volcanic base, on the middle 
of which are found rocks of the first formation, is covered almost every- 
where by alluvial or vegetable earth, formed by the decomposition of 
the gigantic vegetable matter of its impenetrable forests. 

Of an extent of about fifty-eight square leagues, the Island is studded 
with hills and mountains, the most elevated of which, rise to a height of 
upwards of five thousand feet above the level of the sea. These moun- 
tains are covered with thick forests, and separated by deep and winding 
valleys, watered by streams, which, in their course to the sea, carry with 
them a large quantity of decayed vegetable matter. The water obtained 

Testimony of Dr. Amic. 20*7 

from these streams, together with rain water, supplies all domestic wants ; 
but for this purpose it is generally filtered. 

Since some years, the works executed for the construction of roads 
have occasioned considerable disturbance of earth, principally in the 
middle of vegetable land, and have given place to a greater emission of 
effluvia, produced by the decomposition of vegetable matter. If there 
can be attached to this cause, the appearance of a greater number of 
intermitting fevers, it is also necessary to acknowledge that it has had no 
influence on the developement of the yellow fever. 

With regard to marshes, stagnant waters, and so forth, it is neces- 
sary to make two distinct categories of the Island; one of which, Fort 
de France, forms an example, being situated low, easily inundated, and 
in the neighborhood of pretty extensive marshes. The other of which, the 
town of St. Pierre, may be taken as a sample; it is placed on hill sides, 
more or less steep ; swept by currents of the prevailing winds, and sur- 
rounded by streams, and small rapid currents. The two geographic 
conditions which engender two endemic distinct intermitting fevers, in 
the one case, and dysentery in the other, appears to have no influence 
on the yellow fever, the developement of which, demands a high degree 
of heat, and the neighborhood of the sea. 

The temperature varies, also, with the degree of elevation above the 
level of the sea. Three distinct zones of heat can be established: a 
warm region, which extends from the sea shore to one thousand three 
hundred feet above its level, in which region the heat diminishes frequent- 
ly to 20°. The same progression continues up to two thousand six 
hundred feet, where the thermometer marks only 15°. — It is the temper- 
ate zone. Then from two thousand six hundred feet, to the highest points 
of elevation, where the strongest heat raises the thermometer to only 
10° or 12°, is to be found the cold region of the West Indies. 

Besides the changes that the elevation and situation of the land may 
have upon the temperature, the heat follows the course of the sun. With 
the month of July, commences the rainy season, marked by excessive 
heat, and an abundance of rain. To this season succeeds, towards the 
middle of October, the dry season. December, January, and February 
forming the cool season of the year. 

In order to appreciate the degree of humidity, it suffices to mention 
that at Paris the average fall of rain is ten inches ; whilst at Martinique, 
in the lower parts, next to the sea shore, it is eighty-six inches ; and this 
figure is increased to a much larger figure in the mountainous parts. 

The prevailing winds are those from East and Northeast, during a 
greater part of the year. During the rainy season they are often from 
the South, in passing by the West. 

The year which preceded the invasion of the yellow fever, was marked 
by excessive heat, and frequent South winds. 

In that which concerns the meteorological condition of the Island; 
here is a resum6 of observations, taken for each mouth, during a period 
of ten years : 

208 Ttst'tnioiiii of Dr. Antic. 


Maximum. Minimum. 

January, 26.5 766 762 

February, 25.3 766 762 

March, 26.-* 764 762 

April, 27.5 766 762 

May, ...29.- 766 761 

June, 28.5 766 760 

July, 29.- 767 760 

August,, 30.- 767 760 

September, 29.- 767 760 

October, 28.75 765 762 

November, 26.7 765 760 

December 27.75 765 760 

Note. — The Barometer is in French milimetres. The Thermometer is in French centigrades. 

If it is not possible to reply in figures to the different questions which 
concern the mortality, caused by the yellow fever, on the different classes 
of the population, one is able to establish, at least in a general manner, 
that the Europeans newly arrived are, in the time of the epidemic, inevi- 
tably, and the most frequently, victims to it. The chances of escaping 
go on augmenting with the length of residence in the colony, so that 
the Creoles are almost never attacked, unless they may have quitted the 
country for a certain time. The negroes are never attacked. "With 
regard to the sexes and ages, women and children appear to enjoy the 
greatest immunity ; however, in the last epidemic, numerous exceptions 
were noted to this rule. 

The invasion of the yellow fever of 1851 ,-\52. was preceded by an 
epidemic of measles and inflammatory fever, taking very often the form of 
typhus. The yellow fever commenced at Fort de France, in the month 
of September, 1851 ; and the first well marked case, followed by death, 
struck a Mr. Sentelz, captain of artillery, newly arrived in the colony, and 
of a constitution remarkably strong and plethoric. The malady after- 
wards, by little and little, extended to the soldiers of the garrison, and 
the marines and sailors on board the vessels of war. It was only in the 
month of July, 1852, that it appeared in St. Pierre; although many 
months before that, it had attained its greatest intensity at Fort de 
France, and, during all the time it raged there, the frequent communica- 
tions existing between the two towns never ceased. Its march in these 
two places, as well as in all those where it has been, has always presented 
a period of invasion, a period of intensity, and a period of decline. 

Its symptoms are those of all the miasmatic infections, and can be 
divided into three pretty distinct phases : a first period of incubation, 
which often passes unperceived, or is marked only by an uneasiness 
without character. A second period, signaled by the action of the 
miasma carried into the nervous system, and the principal organs, by the 
circulation; general febrile excitement, cephalalgia, lumbar p ains, &C 
In short, a third period of wrestle, or of crisis; during 1 which, the 

Testimony of Br. J. Vhapuis. 209 

organism has a tendency to re-act against the poison, and free the system 
from it, (vomitings, icterus, petechial spots, boil, stools, urine, <fec.) From 
this moment, the malady pronounces itself in one sense or another; 
the symptoms increase, and death follows rapidly; or they diminish, and 
then commences a painful convalescence, the length of which indicates 
the profound disorders that the system has undergone; and the energetic 
intensity of the cause which has produced them in so little time. 

The black vomit, bleeding, and icterus occur constantly in grave cases; 
and announce, almost to a certainty, a fatal termination. The cases of 
cure after these symptoms are of very rare occurrence. Death happens 
generally, from the third to the fifth day. 

As to its transmission, no fact has appeared to show the contagious 
character of the yellow fever ; and never has it been remarked that the 
persons called to attend to patients, have contracted the malady by 
contact. If they have been oftener attacked than the others, it is because 
they remain oftener, and for a longer time, in the centre of infection. 
Nothing proves that the malady might have been imported with goods, 
clothes, or other objects. It has always declared itself in a manner 
spontaneous, and without that, its apparition may have been able to have 
been foreseen. 

It has its birth, according to all appearance, in the influence of par- 
ticular atmospheric conditions, yet ill defined; but once developed, it is 
able to form centres of infection beyond the places where these con- 
ditions exist. The circumstances necessary for its developement, appear 
to be heat and the neighborhood of the sea. In effect the yellow fever 
diminishes as you ascend ; and it has never been known at two thousand 
three hundred feet above the level of the sea. 

Signed : Amic. 

The First Doctor in chief of Martinique. 

Fort de France, 4th April, 1854. 


[translated and transmitted to the sanitary commission by the author.] 

A few words on the Epidemic Yellow Fever, which, prevailed at St. 
Pierre, in Martinique, in.1852. 

Every physician whose sad privilege it has been to assist in 
those cruel epidemics, which leave the most skillful practitioners 
unarmed, because all the efforts of art are powerless, must have felt 
the necessity of having recourse to the lessons which have been left 
for him by his predecessors when placed in the same circumstances, 
must have experienced the necessity for seeking in their writings, 
the resources which ordinary works cannot indicate to him, because 
these resources are exceptional, like the circumstances by which they 
are evolved. And further, the means of comfort, the consolations alone 
which he derives from reading them, quickly give him to understand 

210 Testimony of Dr. J. Chapuis. 

that it is also his duty to tell, in his turn, what he has seen, and to 
leave those who ought to succeed him, if not a complete treatment, 
at least an indication, a new course to follow, or even only the germ 
of ideas, of conceptions, which others after him more fortunate than 
he, will mature. It is the feeling of these impressions, it is the con- 
sciousness of having a duty to perform, which decide me to speak 
concerning the epidemic yellow fever which prevailed at St. Pieire 
and all Martinique, even although we may not be able to draw from 
it any other lesson than that of the vanity of human knowledge, 
before the scourges that heavenly wrath begets. 

As I do not intend to publish any detailed observations, but merely 
to make known the general observations I have been able to make 
during the epidemic, I believe I ought first to state upon what docu- 
ments I rely, aud from what sources I have drawn. 

Charged with the surgical service of the hospital, prisons and sem- 
inary ; I had some thirty cases to treat in my rooms ; I saw nearly 
fifty in the town, either alone or with my brethren, Doctors Marti- 
neau, Rufz, Luppe, Artiere, and latterly, during the sickness of the 
chief physician, I was on several occasions charged with the medical 
attendance on the hospital ; my observations then, have extended 
through all the categories of individuals ; prisoners and wounded 
persons of all classes, at my rooms; seamen and soldiers of all arms, 
in the medical wards ; Creoles and Europeans of all stations, in my 
private practice. 

The yellow fever, which already prevailed for some time at Fort 
deFrance, commenced to show itself at St. Pierre, in the first days of 
July, 1852. 

Under the influence of what causes did this terrible disease 
devolope itself? 

Before this first question, as before so many others, we remain 
silent ; public opinion regarded as a cause of the development of 
yellow fever at Fort de France, the cleaning of the canal which sur- 
rounds the city ; the medical commission, appointed to inquire into 
the causes, attributed it to the Southern winds ; the months which 
preceded that of its first appearance, had been marked by extreme 
heat and drought. 

Can the whole of these opinions, either singly or conjointly, reply 
in a satisfactory manner 1 Could the formation of a local focus under 
the influence of certain meteorological conditions, produce a malady 
which ravaged, not only Martinique, but also the neighboring islands ? 
It is to time, to observation, to the repetition of the same phenomena 
under the same circumstances, that it belongs to decide this. 

1 say nothing further in reference to the frequent communications 
between Fort de France and St. Pierre, as a means of introducing the 
disease into the latter city; the question of non-contagion seems to 
me to be quite settled. I shall here make only one remark, it is, 
that the epidemic which commenced at Fort de France in 1839, to 

Testimony of Dr. J. Chapuis. 211 

continue until 1841, appeared to originate in a particular focus at the 
Artillery Barracks, situated near the canal, and in which were quar- 
tered the military and prisoners ; in consequence of the earthquake of 
the 11th of January, 1839. It would appear, then, that a particular 
focus is necessary, with the aid of certain atmospheric conditions, 
for the development of the yellow fever, which, from this point of 
departure afterwards propagates and extends itself to a greater or 
less distance ; but what appears certain is, that the epidemic once 
broken out, partial foci of infection may be formed in certain given 
circumstances ; it is thus that merchant vessels, which had none sick 
in our roadstead, found the yellow fever break out on board, several 
days after their departure, and that the hospital-frigate Armida, 
charged with the conveyance of the convalescents back to France, 
had its crew decimated during the passage, after having remained 
only a very short time in the Antilles. 

It was on board the vessels anchored in the roadstead of St. Pierre, 
and at first almost exclusively among the crews of those vessels, that 
the yellow fever commenced to show itself in 1852 ; the inhabitants 
of the city and the military of the garrison, were then perfectly free 
from it. I ought here at once to turn to the question of acclimati- 
zation, for the military had nearly all been five years in the colony, 
while the sailors had only recently arrived in the country ; but we 
shall see farther on how much of the epidemic deprived this privilege 
of acclimatization of its importance, so that it became no longer a 
certain preservative, but only a chance of diminishing the gravity of 
the disease. At the same time I always reckon recent arrival in the 
country among the predisposing causes of yellow fever ; and I have 
to bring to notice the fact, that in this epidemic, contrary to what 
has happened in all those of which have been recorded, the disease 
was observed to attack and often carry off, not only Europeans who 
had already sojourned for longer or shorter periods in the country, 
but Creoles, colored people, and even women and children, who had 
hitherto appeared to enjoy a soi't of immunity from it. It may even 
be said that the latter paid proportionally a larger tribute to it than 

The determining causes appeared to me to be the same as those 
which have for a long time been pointed out : exposure to the sun, 
excesses of all kinds, strong moral emotions, fear, &c. &c\ 











Preliminary remarks — General programme of grounds assumed 
and positions to be proved : — The Science of Hygiene — Igno- 
rance of the Truth and assumptions of Facts, leading sources 
of error, as to our past and existing condition — Filth and 
Disease — Their relations to one another— The effects of 
imputed perennial insalubrity upon the thrift and growth of 
a city — What the healthy and natural standard of mortality 
of the Rural Districts of a country is — What the like stan- 
dard in the Urban Districts. Sites of cities never selected 
wholly on account of salubrity — Sanitary measures and their 
results in this country and elsewhere — The sine qua non of 
their efficacy everywhere, must be skill in devising litem — sea- 
sonableness in applying them, and promptitude and perseve- 
rance in enforcing them, &c. dbc. 

The Sanitary Commission at an early day after its organiza- 
tion, deemed it advisable to assign to each of the members, 
severally, one of the prominent topics, into which the subject Divisionof 
(with which it was charged specially by the city authorities) dntie " - 
naturally and conveniently divided itself. To my share was 

214 Report of Dr. Edward II. Barton on the 

allotted the special and arduous duty, of making " A thorough 


of this Metropolis. " This opens a vast field of research, with 
corresponding responsibility, and on a theatre where the making 
and preservation of records are the last things to be thought 
of; however, those archives, the fruit of the garnering and toils 
of years here, will now show their value, as well as foresight, in 
collecting them, and it only remains to set forth for public con- 
sideration and judgment — the facts — reasonings and conclusions, 
which have resulted from our investigations ; and which I pro- 
ceed now to do. 

That this particular and voluminous branch of the subject, 
as well as those branches of it, devolving upon my learned asso- 
ciates, is full of importance to our immediate constituency, and 
eventually may become so to the age we live in, we confidingly 
Importanceof believe, because we are fully hopeful of the results which must 
the su ject. f jj ow t j ie a( j ption of the preventives and remedials we have 
suggested, at the close of our labors. But, will the city au- 
thorities, adopt and carry out, such as we have suggested and 
advised ? That is more than Ave can say : But, this we know : 
That if the causes Ave have assigned for the late devastating 
pestilence, as Avell as those Avhich haA^e preceded it in past 
years, be clearly and inevitably deducible from the facts Ave 
have presented, and are truly assigned ; — then must it follow as 
Causes of fe- ^ QQS n jg} lt fa Q ^ay, that the preventives and remedials Ave haA'e 
verassigna e recommen( j ec i ? jf seasonably applied and rigidly enforced, — Avill 
not only forestall and prevent yellow fever from originating here, 
but from propagating here, should it be brought from abroad. 
Let me be understood. I do not pretend to say that all the 
causes, to Avhich Ave assign the production of yelloAV fever, can 
be forestalled in their coming, or expelled when they do come, 
by any human agency, whatever ; for, the meteorological condi- 

On tJie Sanitary Commission of New Orleans. 215 

turns of elevated temperature, excessive saturation, great solar Not atmos- 
radiation, large precepitation and prevalence of particular winds, pheric alone, 
or the absence of all winds, may not be entirely preventable 
or remediable, by the art or the power of man. But, (as will 
sen, throughout the report,) great as is the influence we 
attribute to the presence of these most deleterious and alarm- 
ing agencies, Ave have no where attributed, nor wish to 
attribute, to these agencies alone, a capacity for originating or 
propagating that disease. It is only when they are in combi- 
nation with those morbific influences, which we have denominated 
«e, (which embrace every species of noxious affluvia, 
which filth of every description, and disturbances of the origi- 
nal soil, generates and transmits,) that the etiological conditions 
exist, for the production and spread of the pestilence. More- Notfiltha,one 
over, it is a doctrine of the Report, as it is a corollary from 
the premises — that the terrene condition alone, is without the 
power to originate the disease, in the absence of the meteorologi- 
cal conditions referred to : — otherwise our goodly city would 
be apt to furnish the pabulum for the disease, not only for the 
summer and fall months, but expose us to the pestilence 
throughout the year ! 

Now, it is a further doctrine of the Report, that these terrene 
causes or conditions, are entirely, and always, within the reach 
and control of man, and remediable and removable, therefore, 
.•it mans' option and pleasure. The terrene causes then of 
great filth, <fec, being removed and extinct, the meteorological These con " 
would be powerless to originate the disease here, and if imported troa e ' 
here, it would be quite as powerless for propagation, be the 
meteorological conditions even as ominous and menacing as 
they were during the late epidemic, and whatever might be 
their injurious influences upon diseases not needing, for their 
existence or duration, the jiresencc or potency of the terrene 
conditions ; although, most assuredly, we think, that the meteor- Ne,ther alone 
ological conditions never have reached, and never can reach, sn cient 
any thing like the insalubrious and blighting excesses of 
the past year, in the absence of the terrene conditions, whatever 

210 Report of Dr. Edward H. liar ion &n the 

may be the affiliation or sources of causation and dependance 
between them. 

These remarks are most fully borne out by a brief reference 
(in advance of what will be more particularly detailed here- 
after,) to circumstances attendant upon the largest mortality, 
the subsidence and cessation of the late epidemic. The subsi- 
dence was gradual, it was true. It always is so. But it was 
marked, and full of significance. Solar radiation reached its 

The remarka- ° . . , • » . 

, . loftiest elevation on the 19th of August; the epidemic reached 

Die culmina- ° 

ting poinu of its culminating point on the 22d; down, but gradually, sub- 
each, sided the combination of high temperature and great humidity, 
and although the latter, was occasionally very high afterwards, 
the combination of high temperature was wanting to give it 
virulence ; the epidemic, also, gradually declined, pari passee, 
with these important changes in the atmospheric element, 
which hung over our doomed city like a funeral pall, and as 
they gradually passed away, the refreshing blasts returned, 
until the health point (the equilibrium) was reached, and the 
Proof. epidemic had ceased, weeks before the great queller, (as is 
thought,) frost, made its appearance, and fully one month 
earlier than all prior epidemics. The chart B, and tables D, 
and E, accompanying this Report, are absolutely conclusive of 
all this. 

Well, in all this time, and up to the final cessation and dis- 
appearance of the epidemic, what became of the terrene, con- 
dition. They remained wholly and absolutely unchanged! 
Indeed, all knew ( or seemed to know ) that it would have been 
madness to have disturbed them, while the fever lasted, and of 
course, they were let alone, or not materially altered, ( except 
the cleaning of the streets, which is a very small part of the 
Combination cleaning of a city — probably not constituting a twentieth por- 
oniy, fatal, tion .) What better proof could one have than this of the 
total seperability of the two conditions? And what better 
proof could there be that as the separation progresses, the 
disease subsides, and that when the separation was complete 
the disease was extinct ! And what can follow — but that if 

Sanitary Condition of Nero Orleans. 21 7 


To sura up — the leading and controling principle that has 
guided us in all our sanitary conclusions is that the following 
postulata have reached the importance of demonstrated truths, 
through the facts and reasonings set forth in the Report, viz : 

1st. That a close junction and combination of the meteor- 
ological and terrene conditions (referred to) is absolutely indis- 
pensable to the origination, transmission and duration of yellow 
fever every where. 

2d. That all the terrene conditions referred to, are control- PoBtulata - 
able and removable by human agency; and consequently, are 
seperable from the meteorological conditions, at man's option, 
and at man's pleasure. 

3d. That the atmospherical element can be much modified 
and ameliorated by man's influence. 

4th. That the irresistible corollary from the probata are, that Corollary, 
yellow fever is an evil, remediable and extinguishable by human 

The great practical principle of the Report, therefore is, that 
the yellow fever, although among the greatest of physical evils, 
is demonstrably, a remediable evil, and it will be the function of Yellow fever 
a future section to set forth, in detail, the remediable appliances, preventable, 
which reasonably employed and scrupulously enforced, will, I 
feel confident, extirpate that disease in any locality. 

All this we maintain confidently and boldly, for our conclusions 
have been neither overstrained nor far-fetched, but are the legiti- 
mate progeny from the relations subsisting between cause and 
effect. If others may disallow or distrust them, most assuredly the 
Commission could not. How could we, when we know, that 
in the fullness and accuracy of the facts we have gathered, no 
toils have been spared ; that in collating them one with another Dnty, respon- 
and assigning the appropriate weight to each, every care has sibiiity, and 
been taken, with searching and impartial scrutinies for our toilof tho 
guidance, to commit no mistake, and as to the facts and anal- °° mmiMioa ' 

ogies we have brought from afar, we have presented the most 

218 Report of Dr. Edward H. Barton on the 

eminent and reliable medical authorities of the living and the 
dead, as our vouchers for the facts they have recorded and 
the deductions they warrant, when applied either to them or 
to our own special testimonies. It is these deductions which 
constitute and authorize the results we have proclaimed ; and 
these results constitute the bases of the principles we have pro- 
mulged and maintain in relation to the origin and causes of 
and the preventives and remedies for the extirpation and ex- 
tinction of yellow fever. 

Looking then, to the momentous interest we represent in this 
first great sanitary movement in the South — inviting the utmost 
scrutiny into our facts, principles, authorities, and the corollaries 
we have deduced — we only expect that confidence to which, we 
humbly deem, all are fairly entitled. If, upon such investiga- 
tion, the recommendations are found reasonable ; if they are in 
Fairexamina- accordance with the science and the well attested experience of 
tion and im- the present enlightened age ; then we hope there will be no hes- 
mediate trial, jtation in putting them upon immediate trial. The " let-alone 
system " has been tried long enough ; it has filled and darkened 
with a deeper gloom the domicils of the dead — cast adrift mem- 
bers of our cherished population — restrained and still restrains 
large and valuable accessions, and has checked and impaired 
our advancement and thrift in every branch of industry. The 
trial has been full and unsatisfactory. All unite in saying there 
must be sanitary reform ; it is written in indelible characters on 
the age. 

Health is the greatest of earthly blessings ; the rules appli- 
cable to it are reduced to a science ; it is denominated Hygiene ; 
it is governed by principles and regulated by laws, almost as 
Laws of p rec j se an( j exact as those attached to any other department of 
science. It is the true science of life ; it teaches men how to 

lished a mark , 

live, and how to prolong hie, and when properly applied, it has 
increased its average duration for terms averaging from ten to 
twenty years, and surely, this is worth striving for. It is now 
fully understood, and the most enlightened communities and 
nations are adopting its principles, and applying them to prac- 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 219 

tice. In our country it has diffused its blessings in proportion 
to the extent of its application. The adoption of its principles, 
as well general as personal, is a mark of civilization, and char- 
acteristic of refinement. Indeed, sanitary reform is the talis- 
manic indicium and distinguishing amelioration of modern re- 

From the afflictive dispensation with which it has pleased an 
all-wise Providence to visit our city during the last summer and 
autumn, it becomes us to draw lessons as well of wariness as 

out a remedy. 

of humility. There are no physical ills inflicted upon man 
without their uses and their recompense. If the mortuary ca- 
lamities of the year will drive our people (so long deluded on 
the subject of their sanitary condition) to open their eyes to the 
actual truth ; if it can be demonstrated, to their satisfaction, 
that we have labored and suffered under remediable ills ; that 
there is yet hope for us, then the fearful lesson we have been . 


taught will not have been in vain, and we shall be able to date 
from 1853 a new era of prosperity and progress, in all that may 
be compassed through numbers and commerce — health and 

In no part of the world is a thorough sanitary reform so much 
needed as in New Orleans. In no country on earth has a place 
been so much injured through a want of insight into her sanitary 
condition by her municipal officials. In none have more pains 
been taken to keep from the people a knowledge of it ; the very 

r f r . . . requires sani- 

attempt to enlighten the public in relation to this important in- 

1 ° r f tary reform, 

terest has been steadily repulsed with denial, if not with incre- morethanany 
dulity, and the authors have been pointed to as inimical to the other city, 
city ! The obvious effect of all this has been the almost entire 
neglect of sanitary measures. There is another party who as- 
cribe all the ills said to affect us to a fore ign source ; and again, 
there is another who despair of the power of man to alter our 
condition. This fixed incredulity as to the existence of facts on Rigkinspeakj 
the one hand, and of the exotic sources of importation of the ^ the truth . 
malady on the other, with an utter inadequacy of means of pre- 
venting its introduction, or expelling it when it came, is plainly 

220 Report of Dr. Edward II. Barton on the 

Causes of onr the cause of our apathy at the results, and restraint upon all 
neglect and trials at amelioration. Either opinion is adverse to a change, 
apathy. an( j fc om ^ gtatu q U0 | n ^{q^ the city has been kept for so 
many years, it might he supposed these were the prevalent 
opinions. They may be all resolvable into an ignorance of our 
actual condition — of what has produced it, and of those vast 
influences that have effected the wonderful changes in the san- 
itary condition of cities all over the globe. A belief in them has 
heretofore been a barrier to all improvement, has palsied the hand 
of enterprise, and has driven from our city valuable citizens, 
ignorance of an( j prevented the immigration of labor, of wealth, and of in- 
cur condition. te , lect That these views are sincere there is no doubt; that 
they are erroneous I trust to demonstrate in the course of this 
investigation ; that they are entirely un-American, so entirely 
opposed as they are to the progressive advancement of the age 
we live in — so outrageously at variance with what has been 
clearly demonstrated as the result of the application of sanitary 
Highest proof ] aws an d usages elsewhere, I think there is no doubt. I trust 
of patriotism. to snow that they will not bear the touchstone of examination, 
and that it is the highest aim of patriotism to make an attempt 
to alter them. 

New Orleans is one of the dirtiest, and with other conjoint 
causes, is consequently the sickliest city in the Union, and 
scarcely anything has been done to remedy it. That the one re- 
sults from the other, is in exact accordance with the common 
sense, the common experience and common feelings of mankind, 
Filth and dis- anc [ y e ^ i use the language of a distinguished investigator, 
ease, cause « ^ c ^y j^g q U } e ^ wr th an open keg of powder with a lighted 
an e ect. ^ 0V( ^ a _ on jy a f 00 ^ aDove it." Like causes produce like effects, 
under the same circumstances, forever. If then, the city is to 
be restored to salubrity, there must be a radical change. It is 
the duty of medical men, who, from their studies and province, 
ought to know the value of sanitary measures, to urge upon the 
community their great importance, to show the critical condi- 
tion on which rests the foundation of public prosperity ; and 
if any change is to be wrought, " it is best to be done quickly." 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 221 

No city can bear many inflictions of such a calamity as that of 
last year without serious deterioration. Concealment and boast- 
ing wall not help us much. Public confidence is plainly on the 
wane ; the disparaging truth that almost every official as well 
as unofficial means have been used to conceal, deny, explain away, 
has been resorted to, and now it stands forth in all its unabashed 
effrontery, in the very face of well attested and repeated proofs 
afforded by our Board of Health and our Medical Faculty, that 
the evil exists, and is remediable. 

When, a couple of years ago, an enterprising fellow-citizen 
(James Robb, Esq.) informed the public that " he would sink or 
swim with New Orleans," in a great railroad scheme, that was Proof f 
deemed essential to our prosperity, little did he — little did the gullibility. 
general public think that anything else was wanting to insure 
that prosperity but railroads ! so successful had been the as- 
sertion that " New Orleans was one of the healthiest cities in 
America," in spite of the most unequivocal proofs before the 
public to the contrary, evincing a self-love, that a public, gullible 
always, upon that point, is so prone to swallow. 

It required a great calamity, like that of 1853, to open our 
eyes to the actual truth. A conviction of an error must pre- Valne of 
cede its correction. A knowledge of causation must precede knowing the 
the application of the means of prevention. On the important truth, 
subject influencing the health of the community, "ignorance is 
not bliss." The cost to our city, to reach this conviction is to 
be estimated by millions, and to her commercial prosperity — to 
the value of her real estate — to the reputation for perennial in- „ , . . 

r * Cost of lgno- 

salubrity — figures cannot calculate it. But how shall we esti- rance- 
mate it in the orphanage — the widowhood — the loss in valuable 
citizens — in the products of labor ! Shall we say then, that all 
this could have been prevented? Have any preventive means 
been tried ? Have there been any organized sanitary measures? 

J ° J No attempt to 

Is not all the world benefited by them ? Does not the common , . 

J alter it. 

sense and common experience of mankind here coincide? Are 
we to take advantage of what this teaches us, or are we to be an 
exception to the balance of the world? Does here flourish 

222 Report of Dr. Edward H. Barton on the 

The real mor- perennial health, and have we found out the perpetual elixir ? 
taiity for half The record in chart A contains what has been the memoria, the 
acentnry. terrible memoria of the past, and it belongs to the present peo- 
ple to say what that record shall exhibit in future. I invite atten- 
tion to this chart now merely to show what has been the mor- 
tality of the city for half a century, (I shall direct attention to it 
hereafter for other purposes.) There may be errors in it, but 
where records of the past are so difficult to be obtained as they 
are here, it was impossible to do better. 

This record then exhibits an annual average mortality during 
Average mor- t ^ at i on g ^q X \ ^ including the disastrous year 1853, 59.63 per 
taiity for half ^qqq f the population — more than double what it would doubt- 
less have been, had proper sanitary measures been adopted and 
efficiently enforced at an early period. To what this large mor- 
tality is to be properly ascribed, will be pointed out in its 
proper place, and we shall then see if our situation will admit 
of corrective measures or not. 

The wealth of a city depends mainly upon the number of its 
inhabitants — labor is wealth — population and labor are its most 
productive elements ; — a system of measures that is irrespective 
a e of the poor, — of the immigrant, — of that class that has raised 
this city from the swamp and made it what it is : — that has 
cleared the land and drained it, — made the streets — constructed 
the dwellings, and done so much to develop its destiny, is void 
of justice to the laborers who are worthy of their hire, and is a 
reflection upon the proprietors who profit by it. The value of 
real estate rises with competition where there is no overplus in 
market — the quantity of merchandise sold, depends upon the 
Therealcame number of consumers and purchasers. If there is increased 
° * e lg risk and jeopardy of life, an enhanced price is put upon every 
article sold. High food, (when we ought to have the cheap- 
est market in America) — clothing — merchandise of every de- 
scription, — high rents, — low real estate, — high wages for 
mechanical labor of all kinds — high price for professional talent ; 
— these are the real reasons, as I am informed by intelligent 
merchants at home and abroad, why we have the dearest market 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 228 

in the United States ; for comparatively few will risk their lives 
or trust their capital, without additional compensation, for the 
additional risk run ! Hence the inevitable result, a retardation, 
if not a blasting check upon commercial prosperity and advance- 
ment, and finally, a recklessness of life, and corruption of public 

and immorali- 

and pnvate morals. Disease and crime have a similar paternity. v 

1 ± j tyhaveasim- 

They are twin sisters ; as exists the one so flourishes the other, ilar patemityi 
and there is not a doubt in my mind, that the most effective means 
of advancing the cause of morals and religion among us, would 
be the establishment of sanitary measures! "Cleanliness is 
next to godliness." 

It is assumed by statisticians after a very thorough examina- 
tion into the subiect, that a mortality of two per cent, or one 

* * » * Average mor- 

in fifty, may be fixed upon as a healthy and natural standard of m of the 
mortality. Attached to the late census returns for 1850, the State _ 
average mortality for the Eastern District of Louisiana was 
20.68 in a 1,000, and in the Western District 21.25 to 1,000, 
and the average of the entire State 20.92. This was a large 
average for Louisiana, admitting the correctness of the returns 
— for 25 per cent, of the mortality of that year was ascribed to 
an exotic to our climate (Asiatic Cholera.) The whole of Eng- 0f „ land 
land averages 21.80, one of the healthiest countries in the 
world. Throughout the United States the average is 22.47. 
The average age of death in England is 29 years, while in 
America it is but 20. The annual average mortality of the 
six or eight principal American cities, is a little upwards of 1\ 
per cent. In the three principal cities of England, it is some- 
thing more. Is it possible then that 5 J*L per cent., and 
for the last six years in this city preceding '53, it has averaged 
6f per cent.! and this from official published sources, is 
the natural mortality? Is it possible, I say, that this is a Ugmao m " 
necessary and inevitable state of mortality? Will the worst 
enemy of New Orleans allege for a moment that this cannot be 
remedied? Is our local position — climate — are the pursuits, 
character and habits of our people so utterly irreconcilable, or 
unamenable to all sanitary influences, that this enormous mor- 

224 Report of Dr. Edward H. Barton on the 

tality is to continue, and that we are to bear the stigma of 
being not only the sickliest city in the United States, but in 
America, — nay, even in the civilized world ? It is not only a 
stain' upon the climate and position — but upon the character of 
the population, and the generally admitted influence of intelli- 
gence every where. Did I think so — I should not pen theselines. 
The primary object in the location of sites for cities, has never 
been, as it should be, — for the enjoyment of health, — the lead- 

Sites of cities ' ' . 

. . . insr idea has always been, — its convenience for commerce, — 

not selected on ° * ~ ' 

account of business, or political purposes. The consequence has almost al- 
their saiubri- ways been a great penalty in the sacrifice of life, to subserve these 
ty. subsidiary purposes ; and the most expensive means have been 

resorted to, to correct it, and usually with success. These re- 
marks apply in a remarkable manner to our city — robbed from 
the swamps — with large bodies of water all around us — a hot 
climate — a rich earth teeming with organic remains, we have 
aggregated together -precisely the materials with only the addi- 
tion of a large and crowded population, for boundless insalubri- 
ty, although second to no city in the world for commercial 
purposes, that this result should ensue is not only not astonish- 
ing — but it would be the operation of a constant miracle were 
it otherwise, we have synthetically the very materials for its 
theoretical existence. Under such circumstances, what does 
B ad locality common sense dictate ? The answer at once will be — correct 
of New Or-jj- — ^ as a \\ ther cities have done and not he idle and melo- 
ns, not lent, resting satisfied in boasting that it was one of the " health- 
improve . .^ pi aces » j n former times (when there was no city at all !) — 
but put your shoulders to the wheel, rectify the disadvantages 
of your position in this respect, and take courage in viewing 
the stupendous works that have been made to improve the 
sanitary condition of ancient cities — that yet in their mighty 
relics, are still standing monuments of the great value those 
people placed on health, and their confidence in sanitaiy 
measures to preserve it. It has been said on high author- 
ity,* that the climate of Petersburg, in Virginia, during 

* Dr. Jackson. 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 225 

our revolutionary war, was so fatal that no native of the place sur- Petersburg 
vived his 20th year. It is now a 1 teal thy locality. It has been more once very fa- 
1 1 tly known that at Bristol in Penn., so great has been the mor- tal ; extent : 
tality from the influence of neighboring swamps, that from its first and do • ° f 
settlement, not above two or three children, born there, have " 3 ' ut 
arrived at maturity — and this continued until the swamps were 
drained. Wilmington, Norfolk, Savannah and Louisville, were 
annual sufferers under the most disastrous fevers, an investigation 
into and a removal of the causes have restored them to salubrity. 
The same remark applies to all the northern cities — Philadel- And do - of 
phia particularly, (as will be shown by-and-bye) has suffered as others ' 
much by yellow fever as New Orleans — nay it has been more 
fatal there, than here, {even including our last sad year.) Now 
she suffers only an occasional out-break, when her sanitary 
measures have been neglected. The recent occurrence will be 
found hereafter only a confirmation of this remark. The same 
remarks are applicable to Baltimore, New York and Boston ; 0n wIiat * e- 
they each of them for the time being have had their filthy or pends theim_ 
infected localities, when their sanitary measures were not pro- prove 
perly enforced ; but all intelligent practical men among them 
admit, that the great improvement in their public health, and 
particularly their freedom from yellow fever, is owing mainly 
to the strictness of their police regulations. What insurmount- 
able obstacle exists in the position of New Orleans, that pre- 
vents her being benefited by the same means ? 

Much light can be thrown on this subject, by reference to the 
history of other nations (of the old world) as to what has been 
effected by sanitary measures. In their true interpretation they 
are but the application of the arts, purposes, comforts and science 

.... . Experience 

of civilization to the promotion of health. That this has been , 

1 abroad . 

extended in proportion to the attention paid to them and that 

when this has been withdrawn and a relapse into comparative 

barbarism has resulted, the mortality lias increased. It should 

be gratifying to the pride as it is flattering to the industry and 

intellect of man, that through their constant efforts only, the 

salubrity of anv spot (not salubrious from position) is main- 

%9 Repor of Dr. Edward H. Barton on the 

Man's situa- tained ; when these are relaxed, or when prosperity and civiliza- 
tion depend- tion decline, the seed of disease, are, as it were, immediately 
ent on his in- <j e p 0s it e d in the earth. There is scarcely a civilized nation of 
dnstryandin- ai ry note mentioned in history, whose progress and decline are 
not illustrative of this truth. In the flourishing condition of 
empires, disease has been kept at bay — industry and cultiva- 
tion has kept pace with population, the arts and sciences have 
flourished, and man has fulfilled the great end of his being. 
With the decay of the arts and enervation of a people, culti- 
vation has been abandoned — negligence has supplied the place 
of industry, and the mouldering columns and dilapidated palaces 
are the sure forerunners of the pestilence that sweeps its desola- 
ting besom over the land, and finishes that which man has 
commenced. The sombre aspect of the Ottoman Empire, and 
the flourishing condition of Great Britain, furnish impressive 
pictures of the truth of these remarks — the former being in 
the most neglected and sickly state — the latter the best culti- 
vated and healthiest country in Europe. It is thus that fate, 
foredoomed by negligence and ignorance of invariable physical 
As shown in anc ^ moral laws, advances to destroy the cherished pride of 
England aud many ages. Rome once the queen of cities, is following the 
Turkey, con- fate of Babylon, and from the same cause, is daily diminishing 
trasted, and in population. Pestilence ad vanoes from street to street, and 
with other } las already become the sole tenant of some of its finest palaces, 
countries. temples and churches. Borne, indeed, might be singled out, as 
affording in itself and as a warning to us, a history of most 
that is interesting in the police of health. "When still the 
capital of the world, in spite of her liabilities, she overflowed 
wiih population, and the disadvantages of her position were 
counteracted by the activity and moral excitement of her inhab- 
itants, the drainage of marshes, the width and durability of her 
paved streets and the abundant supply of pure water, from her 
numerous acqueducts for baths and other domestic purposes.* 
England, in the 17th century, was desolated by a constant 

* From an Introductory Lecture, by the author, to his class in the Medical College 
ol Louisiana, December, 18J5. 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 227 

repetition of plagues, they have disappeared under the ame- 
liorating influence of sanitary measures. Such too has been 
the case in the greater part of Europe ravaged by repeated 
plagues of leprosy. In several portions of it, the average 
duration of life, up to the present period, has nearly doubled Condition of 
from the same cause. But a stronger case is presented in gm ' 
^gyptj a country in so many respects similar to our own ; — 
in latitude, climate, and liability to inundation from the 
great rivers. The plague, (which is in that country what 
the yellow fever is in this) exists in a sporadic form, every 
year, and the epidemic form about every two years and 
where during a recent outbreak (1835) it was fatal to up- 
wards of 38 per cent, of its inhabitant* ! — nay, I may say 
vatit'cs, consisting of Negroes, Malays and Arabs, a description Mortsl,tJ ' 
of the filthy, crowded, unaired, holes (hardly houses) they live w ' 
in — the stagnant water and garbage around and a deprivation 
of every comfort, will readily account for this enormous mor- 
tality. An accurate examination into the condition of the 
classes and circumstances of the various races upon which this 
carnage fell demonstrated, most clearly, that it existed in exact 
proportion to the neglect of sanitary measures. It was least Salutary ei ~ 
among those Europeans, who lived in airy well ventilated houses 

i i lii-i iii<.ii ri ' measures. 

and severest on those who dwelt in the most crowded and filthy 
manner. A reference to the history of the same unfortunate 
country, a successive prey to almost every invader for centuries, 
will exhibit infliction or suspension of the plague just as proper 
measures have been adopted or neglected to preserve the health 
of the people ; health, like liberty, requiring eternal vigilance. 
"During the reign of the last of the Pharaohs, during the 194 
years of the occupation of Egypt by the Persians — the 301 
during the dominion of Alexander — the dynasty of the Ptole- 
mies and a great portion of that of Rome, Egypt avas free 
from plague !* The absence of any epidemic, for this long 
space of time, was entirely owing to a good administration of 
government and sanitary police, conquering the producing/ causes 

* Report of the general Board of Health, of England. 

228 Report of Dr. Edward 11. Barton on the 

consequence of this most formidable malady, in a climate very similar to 
of their ne- ur own * The fatalism of Turkish administration, opposes a 
clect - harrier to all improvement and one of the finest climates in the 

world, is left a prey to controlable calamities. The sanitary his- 
tory of Rome affords us a hardly less valuable lesson. The 
position is a sickly one— and the average mortality even among 
her highest class was at one period as high as 5 per cent. To 
correct this she has left some of the noblest monuments which 
the hand of time could not entirely destroy— in her vast under- 
ground drainage and sewerage, with her neighboring marshes 
dried, and other sanitary measures. With a neglect of these 
in her successive revolutions of government — disease again 
became ascendant, and one of the oldest and most lovely countries 
in Europe, at certain seasons, is scarcely habitable. The ex- 
amples might be greatly extended, to show, that by the effect of 
sanitary measures and extending the comforts of life throughout 
all classes, and these are but sanitary measures, the average 
duration of life has been in many instances doubled, and in all, 
greatly extended. 
Awakening One word more, preliminary to proceeding in medias res: 
of the public The appointment of the Sanitary Commission has resulted 
mind to the j- rom a conv i c ti on on the part of the public that the sanitary 
m " condition of the city demanded the most serious investigation ; 
that there had evidently been vast errors in the public mind 
in relation to it; and, apart from all that might have been 
the condition of New Orleans at an antecedent period, and 
which can be readily credited from what we know of the 
rural districts now, still common sense required us to look it 
full in the face at what, it is at this time. The subject itself 
is not a difficult one. The difficulty alone subsists in recon- 

Where lies the ... 

ciling conflicting opinions. It exists in dispelling the cloud 
of errors that conceal the truth. It exists in getting men to 
belive what is against their (apparent) interest, rather than 

* Among these whs specially noted vm the neglect in draining the marshes after 
tin- inundation — leaving ?<> many stagnant pools to exhale their poisons to the at- 
mosphere. This was risiUly enforced during the Phiuaonic and Ptolemaic times'. 

portance of 
sanitary re- 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 229 

anything intrinsic in itself; here it is all clear enough, it only 
requires the plainest reasoning from effects to causes, and Not in ,he 
vice versa, it only has to show what has been done a thousand su ject,butm 
times before, with but one uniform result ! It is not the 

. , ignorance of 

object or intention of the Commission to flatter themselves, . 
the people or the place ; our object is to deal with facts, 
not to form hypotheses ; to show, if we can, if our situation 
is a remediable one ; if from the apposition of the facts, 
theoretical views shall be entertained or result, we plead 
beforehand, avoidance of speculative intentions, and trust 
that the facts themselves will be estimated at their sole 
value, no more. We earnestly entreat a patient and un- 
prejudiced hearing. 

Medical Constitution — what of each month — influence of meteor- 
ological conditions upon mortality — Prediction of the epi- 
demic in May — its commencement — interpretation of physical 
phenomena — peculiar climatic conditions — when they ceased, 
and the epidemic — the cholera epidemic of November and 
December, parallel between cholera and yellow fever weather 
and liabilities, and differences — climatic peculiarities of the 
year — peculiarities of the epidemic influence on man. 


The Medical Constitution is derived from such a combination M ,. , 

Medical con- 

of climatic and terrestrial conditions as influence the constitu- stitution . 
tion of man. What that constitution has consisted in (in the 
present case) — we shall show in another section, — constituting 
the most remarkable year, known in our annals. We propose 
now to consider, briefly, what has been the meteorological con- 
dition and its special influence on the salubrity of the city (of 
course in connexion with the other condition) in a succinct 
summary for each month. 

During the month of January 1853 — the maximum temper- rj . of Janua- 
ature was 71 — the minimum 33.} — the average 47 and thery. 

230 Report of Dr. Edward II. Barton on the 

range 37^ — the average dew point was 44.93 — barometric aver- 
age 30.113 — average humidity .882. The highest solar radiation 
47° (a most remarkable difference between the sun and shade 
for the month of January.) Amount of rain 3.190 inches ; winds 
mostly from the North, and weather pleasant. 

The mortality amounted to 679. The largest number being 
from consumption and amounting to 92, and a very uncommon 
feature was the occurrence of two cases of yellow fever. The 
whole zymotic class amounted to 133. 
Do.ofFebru- During February the maximum of the thermometer was 
vy. 77 — minimum 36-^, average 56 and range 40.50 — the average 

dew point 50.48 — average of the barometor 30.238 — average 
humidity .845 — average amount of vapor to each cubic foot 
4.579 — the highest solar radiation 37 — winds very variable — 
and more from the South and Southeast, with increase of force 
— amount of rain 4.600 inches. The amount of the mortality 
was 441 ; of consumption 83, of the zymotic class 65 — another 
case of yellow fever being returned, 
of March. During March, maximum of the thermometer was 78, mini- 
mum 43, average 62.63, and range 35 — the average dew point 
56.17 — average of the barometer 30.262 — average humidity 
.832 — average amount of vapor in each cubic foot 5.381, the 
highest solar radiation 40 — winds mostly North, and amount 
of rain 6.870 inches. The amount of mortality was 463 ; of 
consumption 90, of the zymotic class 54 — of pernicious fever 
2 — of scarlet fever 14. 

During April, maximum of the thermometer was 85 — the 
minimum 50, the average 70.37 and range 35 — the average 
dew point 66.60 — average of the barometer 30.260 — average 
humidity .833 — average amount of vapor in each cubic foot 
6.804 — the highest solar radiation 29 — winds mostly from the 
South, and amount of rain 1.848 inches. The mortality was 
532 ; consumption still being the largest and amounting to SO 
— the zymotic class being 89 — scarlet fever 19 — measles 20 — 
pernicious fever 5 — and diseases of the nervous system 75 — a 
very large increase over any preceding month, more than double 

Of April. 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 231 

that of March, and first showing the impress of what was to 

During May, the maximum of the thermometer was 88 — the of May. 
minimum 60 — the average 73.82, range 28 — the average deAv 
point 67.11 — average of the barometer 30.237 — average 
humidity .842 — average amount of moisture in a cubic foot 
7.G01 — the highest solar radiation 39 — winds Southerly and 
Easterly, amount of rain 3.840 — a largely increased combina- 
tion of injurious influences. The moisture had greatly increased 
with the high range of temperature, although the precipitation 
had been small, below the average of the month — as the pre- 
ceding had been, eminently showing how erroneous it is to 
calculate the amount of moisture from the quantity of rain that 
falls, and the cause of the mistake that some of the communi- 
cants to the Commission have fallen into in describing the con- Moisture mis- 
dition precedent and accompanying the existence of the epi- taken for dry " 
demic, while on the same page, a few lines off, the evidences 
and effects of this moisture are pointed out — in the extensive 
prevalence of mould ; and a vegetable life that alone predomi- 
nates in very humid weather, and the existence of a stag- 
nant atmosphere, or such winds as are known to be solvent of 
a large amount of moisture. 

The high combination then of heat and moisture, with so 
small a precipitation, together with a most remarkable eleva- 
tion of solar radiation, greater than I had ever seen it, so early 
even as January, (see chart,) assured me that the climatic in- 
fluences were very remarkable, and when I saw the filthy 
condition in which the city was — the great extent of expo- 

.,„,.- , Grounds for 

sure of the original soil of the city — for eras, water, and other 

& _ JO' jjjg prediction 

purposes, the digging of the Carondelet Basin, the cleaning ofthee idem . 
out of canals, and the embankments and excavations for rail- ic in May# 
road purposes, and the reflection on the fatal consequences 
that these had heretofore always brought on our city, with 
the chart A before me ; this early connection of the atmos- 
pheric element with the physical showed, in the combination, 
a foreshadow of what was to come, and enabled me to give 

232 Report of Dr. Edward II. Barton on the 

a warning as early as the middle of May, in the Academy of 
Sciences, in this city, of the disastrous consequences that were 
to follow, and to some scientific correspondents. How that 
prediction was verified I now proceed to point out. 

The mortality now reached 671, of which the zymotic as- 
cended to 143, consumption now declined, diseases of the 
ary cases. nervoug S y S tem reached 145. There were only two cases of 
yellow fever formally reported on the mortuary record, though 
the investigations of the Sanitary Commission have dis- 
covered several others, and there were several recoveries 
during the month from the disease, occurring in different 
parts of the city, without any intercommunication in private 
practice, in the upper part of the city. 

During June the maximum temperature was 91° on three 
several days, the minimum 73, the average outside f.s before) 
80.73, and inside 81.46, and the range 21. The avei^ge dew 
point had now reached 73.20, its maximum having been up- 
wards of 80, and its minimum 66.3. The average humidity 
was .815; the average amount of moisture in a cubic foot 
had reached the large amount of 9.136 grs., nearly three times 
the amount in January. The maximum solar radiation was 
35. It now became greatest at our nine o'clock observation, 
roptca c ar- ^ujh^ with the almost daily showers, showed the tropical 

acter of the . » , ... .. _., 

character ot the climate we were now experiencing. The 

season. > < ° 

rains in May were about weekly ; on the 9th of June the rains 
set in, and fell almost daily the rest of the month. The ba- 
rometer continued unusually high, as it had done, and which 
continued during the existence of the epidemic, not finally 
falling until December, coinciding with an observation of Mr. 
jii K h barom- Prout, preceding and accompanying the outbreak of the first 
eter. great epidemic of cholera in London, this rise being cotem- 

poraneous with the occurrence of Easterly winds; accord- 
ingly the NE., E., and SE. winds now predominated greatly, 
with that influence on the system they are always known to 
produce, the first, especially, during our epidemics. The rise 
was ascribed to the diffusion of some gaseous body through 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 233 

the air of the city considerably heavier than the air it displaced, 
— The mortality had now reached, during the month, six 
hundred and fifty-six; consumption, which had formed a - 
prominent feature in the weekly mortality, was now greatly Antecedence 
reduced, near to its normal standard ; and scarlatina, which 
seems to be a prodrome of the epidemic yellow fever here, as it 
is in various other countries, was now reduced to half its mor- 
tality during the preceding month, and thence gave way to 
the epidemic, and scarcely made its appearance again, until 
December. Precisely opposite was the influence ot the 
season on the class of nervous affections ; almost keeping pace Predorain " 
with the epidemic, it reached its acme at the same time a "' 
and then declined. The class was unusually large throughout 
the year. 

The zymotic class hegan now rapidly to augment. Bilious 
remittent, pernicious, typhoid, and malignant fevers greatly 
increased, and more than twenty deaths by yellow fever 
were reported. 

We are now approaching the limits of that great epidemic i n July, 
influence, which so severely afflicted our city, and extended 
its ravages in an unprecedented degree, nearly throughout 
the Southwestern states ; in many instances even desola- 
ting portions of the rural districts, for the first time. The 
period of its commencement may be fairly dated from the 
second week in July. By that time physical agents had 
sufficiently matured their power to show their influence on 
man. Let us not exclaim, at this late day, as of old, " vis Dnty of hy _ 
est notissi?na, causa latet. It is the duty of the profession, sicians. 
standing as sentinels upon the great watch-tower of public 
safety, (as to health,) to find out the causes of effects so dis- 
astrous. Providence permits no evils, without there being 
corresponding remedies; and these remedies can only be 

. out a remedy. 

properly understood or applied, but from a previous knowl- 
edge of their causes. 

To the meteorologist, to the observer of causes and effects, 

and the influence of physical agents, the phenomena precur- 

234 Report of Dr. Edward H. Barton on the 

sory to, and during the existence of an epidemic, are not at 
all obscure. The alarm, the agitation of mind, the anxiety 
for the sick, which usually exist at this period, is not very 
favorable to exact observation. The difficult} 7 then exists to 
curtail the exuberance of the imagination, and record 
the nakedness of truth. A distinguished French traveler, 
(Chateauvieux,) in describing an epidemic, says : " No visi- 
ble signs mark the existence or approach of this pestiferous 
air, The sky is as pure, the verdure as fresh, the air as 
tranquil, as in the most healthy region. The aspect of the 
elements is such as should inspire the most perfect confi- 
dence ; and it is impossible to express the horror which one 
experiences, on discovering that all this is deception ; that 
he is in the midst of dangers, of which no indication exists, 
and that, with the soft air he is breathing, he may be inha- 
lnterpretation ling a poison which is destructive to life." Now this vivid 
of physical description, although generally credited, is mostly a fancy 
phenomena, sketch ; and the philosophic observer should interpret the 
facts as they really exist ; the " pure sky" is evidence of ex- 
cess of radiation, and the " tranquil air" is but stagnant, 
suffocating saturation, or the wind blowing from unusual 
quarters, laden with moisture, or deprived of it, ( as the 
simoon,) is destructive to the vital principle. The filth and 
the stinks around him, warn the observer that the elements 
are at war with his being ; that his constant skill must be 
exercised in the application of corrective measures, and tha*- 
the equilibrium of his constitution must be constantly main- 
tained. Elemental disturbances did exist, both precedent to, 
and during the epidemic ; and a long experience, of near 
thirty years, has shown me that they have ahcays existed; 
if they have not been always properly interpreted, it was 
because the precision of science was not so rigidly applied to 
the laws of causation, nor were her votaries then required to 
r,oarom e of ex P lain everything, as now. 

the epidemic. A dusruption of the ordinary catenation of seasons was early 
apparent. The winter was unusually mild ; great and unusual 

Sanitary ( 'ondition of New Orleans. 235 

radiation evinced an elemental derangement. Spring came 
" before its time ; " summer leaped into her lap ; and this 
brought, before the system was prepared for it, blighting 
autumn with its associate diseases — the full force of radiant 
power, great heat and intense saturation. Here was one 
branch of the " shears" prepared for its influence ; the other 
was supplied in a most unusual disturbance of the earth, 
and the presence of excessive filth. 

On man this great epidemic was not heralded (as is often Noprecursory 
experienced) ty the severity of its avant couriers ; no precur- influence on 
sory violence announced the approach of the disease ; it was man - 
mainly in the atmosphere that that portion could be predi- 
cated from (radiation); on earth all was quiet and calm, but, 
as it often happens with cholera, it was the " torrent's stillness 
ere it dash below," with a few cases of yellow fever as early 
as May, as a kind of warning to the authorities, which in- 
creased to twenty in June, still unheeded ; during July it 
rapidly, but regularly augmented, at a geometrical ratio, each 
successive week, and when it reached upwards of one hundred 
victims a day, our drowsy Councils established a Board of 
Health ! 

During July the maximum temperature was 89°, minimum 
71, average outside 79.88 and inside 81.G8, (our table in the 
appendix is limited to outside temperature ); the outside had 
been lowered by frequent rains, as is usual in tropical coun- 
tries; range 18. The average dew point 72.13, the highest (j reat mo i.« t - 
being 80.9, and lowest 66.5, (the day after!) The average ur e. 
daily humidity .825, the average at .sunrise being .930. The 
average amount of moisture in a cubic foot being 8.798 grs., 
the average at sunrise being 9.600! The maximum solar ra- 
diation was 32°. The rains were now truly tropical, not only 
in number but amount, having rained on eighteen days and 
four nights during the month. The thermometer continued 
very high, and averaged 30.265, its maximum this (as during 
last month) being 30.37. The predominant winds were now 
mostly from our rainy quarters, SW. and W., blowing over 

236 Report of Dr. Edward 11. Barton on the 

an extensive region of swamps, and the bed and banks of the 

river for upwards of eighty miles. But what most distinguishes 

the month in this respect was the unusual number of calms 

Great sta R na- noted .^ ^ re gi s ter, amounting to twenty-six during the 

tion of air. . , _ , „ ,. , . 

month, showing, nearly one-fourth of the month, the atmos- 
phere to be in a stagnant condition, hot, saturated, filthy. The 
Filthy g«t- gutters were, twelve hours after a rain, reeking and bubbling 
ter8- up with gaseous products, all highly inimical to animal life. 

(I am indebted to my friend, Dr. Benedict, for keeping my 
meteorological journal this month.) The consequence of all 
which was a total mortality of 2,216, and the epidemic being 
fully established, those from yellow fever amounted to 1,524, 
and the whole zymotic class 1,734. 
in August. During August all the meteorological and mortuary con- 
ditions reached their culminating point, and about the same 
'period, as will be seen by reference to the chart B, and the 
tables C, D, E, in all which this is shown in great detail ; the 
influence and the inference are both clear and indisputable. 
High temper- The maximum thermometer was 91°, minimum 72 Q , average 
ature, and ai- SI. 25, the maximum dew point 79.4, minimum CG.2, and aver- 
most average a g e ^g . av erage temperature of evaporation 76,13, average 
saturation. k arometer 30,194, average humidity .873, average at sunrise 
.950, only requiring one-twentieth more for complete satu- 
ration every morning ! this being actually noted at fourteen ob- 
servations, the number of grs. per cubic foot, on an average for 
the month, being 9.737 grs., and at 9 P. M., being 10.045. more 
High radia- t nan three times the amount in January, and at the highest 
,10n - temperature, the highest solar radiation having attained the al- 

Unprecedent- mos ^ unprecedented height of 61 ° ! although there was but one 
' day during the month that was marked entirely clear the whole 
day, (the 30th,) raining nearly every other day, some days two or 
three times in succession, and the amount during the month reach- 
ing 7.016 inches. The winds were mostly E. and NE., and the 
Unparalleled num Ler f "calm" days, without a parallel here, amounted to sev- 
stagnation of en t een j orj a ^ sixty-eight observation*, evidence of a close, suf- 
focating, inelastic atmosphere, which, with the antecedents and 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 237 

terrene accompaniments, most satisfactorily accounts for the un- 
precedented mortality. This amounted to 6,201 , and the mor- Mortali ' y - 
tality by yellow fever to 5,269, the whole zymotic class, depend- 
ent upon the same general conditions, being 5.338, besides the 
" unknown," and diseases of the nervous system 209. 

The month of September has been usually the most fatal in Septemb'r. 
month, on an average of more than half a century here. This 
year, however, it was something less than one-fourth that of 
August. The meteorological condition had materially changed, 
the maximum temperature being 86 Q , minimum 60, average 
76.23. The maximum dew point 78°, the minimum 50.3, and Great climatic 
average 70.93, average temperature of evaporation 72.44, aver- 01 "" 156, 
age barometer 30.191, average humidity .857, the highestsolar 
radiation (in the early part of the month, the 4th,) being 45°, winds 
mostly N., E., and NE.. The rains continued until the 13th, 
amounting during the month to 5.045 inches, a large precipita- 
tion for September. After this there were but two light showers, 
and the disease rapidly declined with the change in the meteor- 
ological condition, which was considerable in every particular. 
This is a uniform fact, and especially in reference to the hygro- 
rnetic, as shown by reference to my records of former epidemics. 

The whole zymotic mortality was 1121. The yellow Epidemic re- 
fever being 1066, and the epidemic, with the climatic change ti" n e- 
in the second week, evidently declining — the whole mor- 
tality for the month amounting to 1627. Attention is invited 
to tables C, D, E, which contain the daily meteorological 
and mortuary condition in great detail during the three 
epidemic months, and I would gladly add the whole year of 
both, could the latter be obtained, for the gratification of 
scientific men, to show how much climatic conditions influ- 
ence our health, and especially during this remarkable year. The mode of 
In interpreting the connexion of meteorology with mortality, ilUer P retin s 
two circumstances are to be taken into consideration : First, rtie influence 
the amount of vital resistance to be overcome previous to 

1 gyon mortal- 

the attack ( for it is never at once.) Second, the period to ity 
elapse before resulting in death. These, as yet, are undeter- 


Report of Dr. Edward II. Bur ten on the 

mined and irregular, dependant upon individual susceptibility 
and constitutional power. The second is easier estimated 
than the first — for the average duration of the disease is 
known to be from three to five days. The period of incu- 
bation is less known. We sometimes find, in the advanced 
period of the season, that a sudden great fall in temperature 
produces a frightful mortality ; cutting off at once all who 
are very sick, unless carefully protected ; and here a little 
foresight of a coming change can often be put to most 
valuable use. In this case it is almost equally apt to prevent 
the farther continuance of the disease, provided the change is 
a permanent one. 
in October. During October the maximum temperature was 81° ; min- 
imum 48°, and the average 66, 81 ; the maximum dew point 
74 Q 5 ; minimum 31° 9 ; average 59° 31. The average 
temperature of evaporation 62.30; average barometer 30 
231 ; average humidity .804; maximum solar radiation 41°. 
Winds mostly from East and North but two days, on which 

change con- •* J 

tinued ^ rame d until the latter part of the month, one night 

preceding the frost of the 25th, and having rains two 
days after, amounting in the whole to 5.175 inches, which 
exceeds the amount of precipitation for any October during 
the last ten years, excepting that of 1849. Range of 

Epidemic, as " drying power'' 1 during the month, 30. Here is a great 

such, ceased, reduction in the destructive elements in every particular, 
and the mortality greatly declined. Indeed, this has con- 
tinued pretty regularly ever since the 10th or 13th of Septem- 
ber, about which period the climatic changes occurred. These 
are often more obvious to one's feelings than by our instru- 
ments, and the time is not distant when these can be stated 
more precisely. The mortality from yellow fever during 
the month was 147 ; of the whole zymotic class 243, showing 
that the epidemic feature had almost entirely departed. The 
entire mortalit}' was 674. 

in November. During November the maximum temperature was 75°; 
minimum 45°; and average 66.92. The maximum dew 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 23 9 

point 69.5; minimum 36.1; average 59,46; average tcm- 

perature of evaporation 61°.85; maximum solar radiation 

46°. Winds mostly East and Northeast. This direction Unusual Ean 

of the winds has been very remarkable and particularly from winds - 

the East for the last four months, exceeding the average of the 

last five 3 T ears at least 200 per cent. The maximum barometer 

occurred on the 18th, and was 30. 46 — a very unusual heigh th 

here — soon after which the cholera broke out. The average 

for the month was 30.329 ; average humidity .846. There 

were but three days of rain until the 26th, '7th '8th, '9th, when 

they were heavy, and the amount, of precipitation for the 

month reached 7.032 inches ; range of " drying power " 20. 

The average for the month was 30.329; average humidity 
.846. There were but three days of rain until the 26th, 27th 
28th and 29th, when they were heavy; and the precipita- 
tion for the month reached 7. 032 inches. Range of "drying 
power 20. 

The mortality for cholera was 177. The yellow fever 
mortality was but 28 ; and the whole mortality 987; and tho 
zymotic class 318. 

The condition precedent to and accommpanying a disrup- 
tion of the cholera here, is irregularity of climatic move- 
ments — a high and low barometer, and mostly the latter — 
and a high and low drying power, mostly the former. 

During December, the maximum temperature was 68 on the r n December. 
8th, and the minimum 34 on the 20th — the maximum dew point 
65, minimum 24.2 on the 31st — average temperature of evapo- 
ration 50.67, maximum solar radiation 25°, winds continued from 
East, North, Northeast, the maximum barometer 30.48 on the 2d, _ . 

' ' Great barom- 

wlien the cholera was at its height, and declined to its minimum etric varia . 
29.57 on the 30th, much the lowest point it had reached during the tiom. 
year. Average humidity .823, and the average number of grains 
of moisture in the atmosphere was 4.167 to each cubic foot, 
less than there had been since January. There was but one . . 

Air compara- 

slight shower of rain to the 13th, and this occurred on the 7th ; a . dry 
the amount was only 200th of an inch — the total for the month 

'2-10 Report of Dr. Edward II. Barton on the 

was 4.560, and under the average for any December. The 
cholera ceased soon after the middle of the month. New Or- 
leans was in no condition to localise it, as at this period there 
Parallel of had been some attempt, during our long scourge of yellow fever, 
cholera and to c i eanse the city ! This epidemic, so different from its prede- 
yeiiow fever. 6 ^ mf ^ i ncom p a tible with it, is doubtless influenced by 
meteorological conditions that differ also. They have never 
existed here as epidemics together, they consequently depend 
upon somewhat different elements for their existence, as such. 
The latter requires exalted temperature and high saturation, and 
is essentially a disease of the hot season — the former exists in 
a lower temperature, with much less and very variable humidi- 
ty and great variation of the drying power, often very exalted, 
climatically (such at least, has been the case in this climate,) irritating, by 
and physio- rapid evaporation, the mucous surfaces, producing in them an 
logically. erethism, always a prodrome of the disease — such is just the 
condition attendant on epidemic influenza — the almost universal 
precursor of cholera. The dew point is also essentially differ- 
ent in cholera from* what it is in yellow fever. While in the 
Their dew- former it varies from 48° to 70°, in the latter it rarely descends 
points. below 60° and ascends to 80° — these are very remarkable dif- 

ferences. I speak of that state of the atmosphere sufficiently 
aggravated to produce an epidemic of these diseases respectively. 
I do not here allude to incidental, sporadic or endemic cases ; 
they may occur under circumstances somewhat different from 
these, and are dependant upon local circumstances that have not 
been subject to analysis. And be it remembered that I speak 
of the climate of New Orleans, with the records before me. The 
Do. of winds, predominant winds are also different — while in cholera they are 
the East and Southeast, in yellow fever they are the East and 
Northeast.f The individual liabilities are also different; while 

* Or lower. 

\ IVnv deeply it is to be regretted that there is no meteorological record of that re- 
markable occurrence of cholera here in the full (Oct,) pf 1832, when the yellow 
fever existed to a great extent in this city. A fan dai/s niter its outbreak, the yel- 
low fever entirely disappeared, and was thoroughly supplanted by the worst cholera 
epidemic ever witnessed in this city, Being on a visit to the cholera district.- in the 
North, I did nol reach here until it subsided, which was as rapid as its advent, from 
a sudden fall of temperature with North winds. In the epidemic cholera of the 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. <2M 

■with the former, a full habit — sanguineous temperament and 
high living, predispose to the disease, it is a protection to the 
latter. The one attacks the cerebral and sanguiferous system 
and mucous surfaces — with the local developments dependant 
much on the habits and condition of the individual, the other 
attacks the great system of organic life, giving increased activi- Pathological 
ty to one secretion, whilst paralysing all others, leaving cerebral d ' ff * rencM - 
life, with all its integrity, to the last moments of existence. The 
one occurs with a high atmospheric pressure, the other under 
a low one. or this predominates. Both belong to the zymotic 
class, they are invited and localised by filth — want of ventila- 
tion, &c. The difference in the climatic elements may greatly 
aid in explaining their different effects on the system. Such 
certainly is the result of our experience here in the several 
epidemics of cholera which have occurred in this city during 
ihe last twenty years, and the very fact that they never prevail 
together, hut successively here, is a proof of the correctness of 
the remark that it arises from the difference in the meteorologi- 
cal elements, that constitutes the sole or principal dissimilarity 
in the remote causes, and that, still, if the localising condition, 
(filth, the hot bed of corruption and vitiation) he not present, 
immunity is enjoyed. 

The mortality from cholera, during the month -was 332 — of „ .,. , 

J vi Mortality or 

yellow fever but 4 — of the whole zymotic class 420. and the thc moMll . 
total mortality for the month 844. The table F, prepared t>v 
Dr. Macgibbon, for the Sanitary Commission, embraces the de- 
tailed mortality for the whole year, classified, with the months, 
ages, nativities, colors, sexes, <fec, and made as correct as it was 
possible, under the difficulties of procuring the materials. 

After this detailed application of the meteorological condition 
and its special consequences, in this most, remarkable year, it 

succeeding year, I find no record of the dew point iu my meteorological journal, 
(hygromeuic observations were only commenced by me in 1834, and have been 
ever since.) But I find in my journal of the period o! the epidemic "a 
;;rr;cf {all in the thermometer on the 8th June, (and of course the bygrometry) » heavy 
tall of rain on the 9th. over fire inches, bunder ami lightning ; a change 

of wind from the Southeast which had predominated, to the Western quarters, and 
the disease gradually declined, it reached Us acme on the ciehlh !" and terminated 
.ibout th« 25th. 


242 Report of Dr. Edward 11. Barton on the 

will be instructive to review the two conditions productive, in 
combination, of such disastrous results, and see bow they differ 
from those of other years. If in the appreciation of those at 
the command of science — the causes pointed oat do not seem 
Great remits commensurate ^fa t he results, it is to be recollected, that it is 
often proceed ^ a te]rd „ /^ it werf A these definitive causes have been 

trom appa- .. -. v j j i 

developed by scientific investigations and applied to human 

rently msigm- r J • i • 

ficant causes, maladies, that in the great store house of nature, the mightiest 
results have been caused by apparently the most insignificant 
means, and that in no human infirmity can we yet measure the 
precise amount of causation. 

The annual average temperature in 1853 has been less by about 
climatic pe- two degrees, and this has occured during the rains, it has been ac- 
cuiiarities of CO unted for by Prof. Blodget by the tropical character of the 
the year. sea son, the daily curve of temperature being much less sharp 
during the rainy season, hence the daily mean of temperature 
is less than usual, this has been specially verified here. More 
rain has fallen than any year during the last thirty excepting a 
fraction more in 1839. * The barometer has been much higher 
than any year I have ever noted it, and continued so until some 
time after the occurrence of the cholera in December. The 
winds have been nearly one-third more Easterly than during 
the last five years, and especially during the epidemic ; more 
Northerly — not half the usual Southerly winds, about one-third 
more of Westerly winds — in this respect, what has eminently 
distinguished the season has been the unusual occurrence of 
calms, or stagnant state of the atmosphere, for the whole year ; 
it has been about four times as many as usual, and for August 
more than eight times as many calms as the average of the 
last five years. The "drying power''' has been greater for the 
whole year than usual and especially for December. The radia- 
tion was materially different, as is usual, in yellow fever years, 
the highest amount existed during rev, (and 

commonly in September,) — ■ ortality oc- 

* I was not hero in 1847, being absent in Vera Cruz — more rain is alleged to have 
fallen thru. 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans, 243 

curred during August, accordingly the highest radiation occurred High radia- 
then. In a series of non-yellow fever years, the culminating tion and eick- 
point existed in May — vegetation probably then requires it ness concomi - 
most. tant - 

So great is this "drying power" in a climate where Effect of great 
moisture is deemed the " only sinner," that at times it be- '"drying P ow- 
comes very embarrassing in the treatment of disease, and it er -" 
is of great importance to remdy it. It occurs not only in 
cholera, but in cramp, in rheumatism, in pneumonia, in scarla- 
tina, and sometimes even in yellow fever ; it makes the 
meteorology of the sick room a part of the proper armory 
of the profession. Covering the body with blankets and bed 
clothes does not prevent the rapid evaporation that ensues, in 
a dry period, not only from the surface of the body, but from the 
lungs. In the more elevated sierras of Mexico, where the per- 
spiration passes off with such celerity, from diminished atmos- 
pheric pressure, that sensible perspiration ( or sweat ) is not 
often or long seen, there is worn a kind of close woven ( or 
Canton flannel ) under garment, that resists this rapid de- 
siccation, and is very comfortable. I am in the habit, at 
times here, of changing the hygrometry of the sick room by 
having water poured on a heated iron. Too much dryness, 
then, may be a cause of disease as well as too much moisture. 
England, enveloped in her fogs a large part of the year, 

J Difference be- 

is. with her low temperature, one of the healthiest countries 

tween moist- 
ill the world ; while New Orleans, with her great moisture ure and high 

and high temperature, complicated as it is, with other power- and low tem- 
ful agencies, is one of the sickliest. The exact amount perature. 
required for health is a subject for future investigation. The 
Sanitary Commission has tried, in vain, to procure such an 
array of faefs during our last memorable year, as to justify 
some generalization on the subject. It is not abandoned ; it 
is too valuable, if such a record can be procured of the exact 
period of occurrence of the principal classes of disease of a 
year so distinguished, as well for its meteorological as mortu- 
ary condition, it should be done. The meteorology of it 

244 Report of Br. Edward 11. Barton on, the 

we have. But three professional gentlemen, Drs. Benedict 
Kovaleski and Copes, answered our circular, furnishing dates 
of the occurrence of cases of disease during the whole year — 
too few for important deductions * It does not require that 
statement to show whether meteorology has any influence on 
man, there is not a day or month of this, or any other year, 
in which this is not shown to the satisfaction of every mind 
capable of observing, and not closed against conviction. 
The contrary supposition embraces the belief, neither more 
nor less, that man is independent of climate — nay, of exter- 
nal agents — is so absurd that I dismiss it with no further 
notice than this bare reference to the hypothesis that has 
nothing reasonable to support it. 

Inclosing this imperfect analysis of the "epidemic constitu- 
tion, " it is proper to refer to those specialities for which this 
Peculiarities epidemic is entitled to the paternity. Hereafter it will be shown 
of the season, that the fever of this year has been the same in ail its essential 
features with those of preceding years, with the usual variation 
for season, and that all the stories of its African, Rio Janeiro 
or West India nativity, are as equally groundless as the impor- 
tation of the epidemic itself. It is doubtless true that its ma- 
lignity was hardly ever equalled with us and that there were 
sections of the city where many cases terminated within twenty- 
four hours from the commencement. It was remarked that an 
Creoles ex- unusual number of children were attacked, even those born 
einpt. here, unless both parents were themselves Creoles — a much larger 

proportion of the colored population than common ; the remark- 
able number of forty-four are reported (although muck less than 
in the country) — females also suffered more, and especially those 
pregnant, than in any year since 1835 — a fine miliary eruption 
influence of Wftg usua ]j v geen on t } 10 gjjjjj within twenty-four hours from the 
»ex. att|1( ,] c — j t wag t j ie harbinger of safety as long as it kept out — 

4 Since the; above was written i have obtained, with the assistance of the Sanitary 

Commission, mur cases of certain classes of, supposed to be most 
under the influence of meteorological conditions, at the dates of their occurrence, 
during this interesting year ( 1853), which I intend digesting -rrith their covrespond- 
ing meteorology at aa earl j practicable. 

Sanitary Condition oj New Orleans. 245 

its repulsion the signal of great danger if not of fatality ; this 
was followed during convalesence, with troublesome furunculi, 
throughout the body, it even occurred in many who had not 
the fever; this same eruption characterised the great epidemic 
yellow fever of Philadelphia, of '93, many were affected with jruIHlon ' car " 

. . " buncles, and 

carbuncles, and m several instance;; buboes during the fever. , , 

° buboes. 

The perspiration was offensive even with those who were care- 
ful enough t.> bathe twice a day, the same was noticed of the 
above Philadelphia epidemic. The appetite for strong food and 
drink was materially lessened with those who had extensive 
and exhausting professional labor to perforin, ami its indul- 
gence increased the exhalation from the body above spoken of. 
These, however, T have repeatedly observed in former epidemics, 
a large proportion of the telegraph operatives fell victims to 
the fever. 

The stimulus of the generative power, which the distinguished 
historian of the great Philadelphia epidemic of '93, Dr. Bush, 
mentions, and the facility of and liability to conception, even , 

J - ir ' Law of com- 

with those who for ten or twenty years had ceased bearing, also pen sation. 
existed ; (noticed here by me, and published in my account of 
the yellow fever of 1833 ; ) it seemed a kind of law of compen- 
sation like that which attaches to the poor in sickly countries; 
of multiplying their births in proportion to the mortality. The 
rise and decline of the mortality in the zymotic class (or prevent- 
ible mortality) has been traced in its successive monthly stages, 
iis culminating point this year being August instead of Septem- 
ber as heretofore, uniformly, unless when epidemic cholera shall 
have been the principal disease ; this being essentially a winter 
disease with us, or at least, occurring at any other season than 
the summer, it makes the angle in that part of the chart A des- 
ignating the monthly liabilities, much less sharj) for September 
than it otherwise would be. 

Class III, of monoxysmal or contagious maladies, had its in May most 
greatest prevalence in May, and was at its minimum in September, contagious 

The class of ''nervous diseases " had also its culminating maliuJ >' 
point with the highest temperature in August. That of puhno- 

246 Report of Dr. Edward 11. Barton on the 

Nervous di»- nary affections again reverses the figure. Intemperance reaches 
eases in Au- its highest amount as the fears of the fever increase, and doubt- 
gust - less added an immense amount to the whole zymotic class. This 

Reverses of table shows here, as every such table shows, that the ''unpre- 
the puimona- ventible diseases" are a constant quantity, and that our enlight- 
ry. ened efforts are mostly to be directed to the variable classes 

(mainly the '' zymotic") which man has (most fortunately), so 

Intemperance » * <f > v •* ' 

most injurious mucn power to control. There exists a popular error of the 

in summer. " purifying " influence of storms accompanied with thunder and 

liohtning ; it is something similar to that denominating a heavy 

atmosphere (high barometer) " light" — because with a low tern- 
Thunder ... . 

. perature it is bracing, and a light atmosphere (low barometer) 

storms and r 07 o i \ 

lightning du-" heavy." Storms of thunder and lightning, I have noticed 
ring epidemic, for thirty years in this country, to exist during epidemics, and 
instead of "purifying the atmosphere," to injure the sick; they 
existed throughout the epidemic here and elsewhere last year, 
They have been noticed during the epidemics at Rio and 
Deniarara and other places. It is the opinion of many phy- 
sicians in tropical climates, (Belot at Havana, and others at 
Rio, &c.,) that this development of electricity increases the 
Unless a lmr- caseg f yellow fever ; that in proportion to the violence of the 
ncane. storms the disease augments in violence and that it aggravates 

existing cases, ( and so in cholera,) unless a hurricane occurs, 
when ( so great is the change ) there at once occurs a great 
temporary abatement of the disease. The frequency of the 
Gas in the rains are shown and their amounts during the epidemic months, 
gutters soon exhibited in the meteorological tables for those months, in detail, 
after a ram. j^. wag remar k ec ] a \ H0 as frequent as the gutters were thus cleansed 
when stagnant water still remained, that discolored slimy 
pellicles covered its surface, bubbles would issue, within twelve 
hours after these ablutions ; I called the attention of my chem- 
ical friends to it and advised its annalization. It is to be greatly 
regretted that the arduous nature of our professional duties 
during a severe and exhausting epidemic curtails greatly our 
ability to make that extended sphere of experiments which 
science and humanity both demand, for these are twin sisters, 

Monthly Returns from each of the Cemeteries. 


Cypress Grove No. 1 

No. 2, or r otteretield 

Odd Fellow*' Rest 

St. Patrick's 

Charity Hospital 

Lafayette, or 4th District. 

8t. Vincent de Paul 

Hebrew, on the Ridge 

Hebrew, Lafayette 


St Louis No. 1 

St Louis No. 2 


Feb. Mar A'ril 

May Ju'e 







101 1 





















518 487 508 510 676 668 2132 6298 1621 700 747 759 




























* Those thus marked (*) are within the city limits, and amount to 7063. 

There are some discrepancies in the report in relation to the monthly 
mortalities — the monthly returns by the cemeteries — the aggregate mor- 
tality for the entire year, and number in the tabular return of yellow fever 
cases, with those from which I have made my calculations, which requii e 

For the first three, one explanation will suffice, for about one-third of 
the year was there an authorized board to record the number, and the 
cause of death — for the balance of ttie year it has been difficult to get 
the cemetery returns and they do not correspond. 

In relation to the number of deaths by yellow fever, many were stated 
as " unknown " " unspecified " — whose deaths were probably caused by 
yellow fever; — anxious to arrive as near the truth as possible, the Sanitary 
Commission has authorized me, during the epidemic, to add a large por- 
tion of these to the yellow fever mortality, which I have done in the 
daily returns in the tables C, D, E. 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 24' 

and the measure of the utility of the one depends upon the 
extent it can advance the other. This is our apology for not 
accomplishing more iu the most memorahle year for both that 
our country has yet known, and we feci humbled at the small 
offerings we have been able to make at the altar. 

It is as well to mention, without knowing that there exists 
any connexion between them, that there was a slight shock of 
earthquake at Biloxi about the period of the occurrence of the 
fever there ; that simultaneous with the outbreak of the fever 
here in May, there were earthquakes in Georgia, and that at 
the precise period when it was most fatal viz : the 20th and 
2 1 st of August ; there were earthquakes in Ohio and Thebes, 
all of these were attended with thunder and lightning.* 

during the 


Estimate of the life cost of acclimation inNciv Orleans from na- 
tivity — to the natives of Louisiana — to those of the Southern 
and Western States — to the Northern States — to the North- 
western States — to the British population — to those from the 
West Indies, South America and Mexico — to those of Great 
Britain and Ireland — the North of Europe — of Middle Eu- 
rope — of Western Europe — of the mountainous parts of Eu- 
rope, and the South of Europe, tor/ether ivith the probable 
causes of the remarkable differences. 

The classes of our population, with regard to their social po- . . 
n on whom this epidemic has borne most heavily, connot tkm M repre _ 
be shown by any recorded proofs; and must be left to be in-gented by the 
t'.'i'iul from the exhibits from the several cemeteries, in which cemeteries, 
they were interred, and they are to be seen in Table H. The 
poor are the greatest sufferers always, and especially in insalu- 
brious places, and during epidemics ; they live in more 
led, filthy, and uucomfortable dwellings. They are igno- 
rant mostly of ■ tws, arc unable, or find it inconvenient 
to apply them, and hence, require the strict surveillance and 
iSt concern of a paternal government. The most of those 



Report of Dr. Edward If. Burton on tine 

who constitute this claps, are the hands, the machinery, that 
make the Avealth of a community, and give it its power ; and 
hence, are the rightful claimants of its fostering care. 

Table H, has been constructed from the materials of which 
our mortuary table of general mort/mtv has been formed, to 
show the liabilities of our heterogeneous population to the epi- 
demic yellow fever from nativity. For this Mr. De Bow (our 
fellow townsman) has kindly responded to my request, and fur- 

Coat of accli- 



NATIVITIES— Stats and Country. 

•- o v. 

3- 1 & 

■1 IB 





[ 5 


S New Orleans, ( 

\ 140 


JS^'Si^;::::::::::::::::": 538,33746,004 - ( 2 


New York, Vermont, Massachusetts,.. 

< Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut. 
(New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delawar 

N. Western C Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, J , fi Q<, 

States. £ Missouri, 5 1 ? 0JO 

< British America, ( 318 

C Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama V r?~-\ Q i * a 

\ Georcia, South Carolina, 5 <->' J OO l J, HO 

Northern < North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland,.. / - 160' 4 984 

lave States > Tennessee, Kentucky, . 5 ' I ' 

tts,..} I 

---•> 8.898 10,751 

are,. ) 






C West Indies 

< South America, 

(. Mexico, 

; Great Britain, 

| Ireland, J22,093|2< 

Denmark, ^ 

[ 491 

EtuSBlB ) 

Prussia, > 

_ Germany, 5 14, | DO 

L' wWestem \ Holland, 

Europe. (Belgium, 

Mountau'ous ( Austria, 

Europe. \ Switzerland, 

{France, } 8,306 

Southern (Spain i 1Q , Q 

E u r ope \ Italy 5 I '^jj j 

] 3,832 ! 4,598 













3 569 





















109,679|62,648l7, 011 | l 11.91 

* These were not all the States represented by population in New Orleans; but thev are all 
that were debited by deaths from yellow fever, and all that could be estimated from ; although 
there were 26,590 that were necessarily unrepresented in these calculations, most of whom, were 
colored, however. 

'fur;/ Condition of New Orl 249 

1 me, from the U. 8. Census Bureau, of which he is the 
honored and intelligent head, 1 ties of the 

popul v for ] 850. That furnishes the first column; 

upon that I have calculated the population for 1853 for each 
country respectively, by adding a fractional increase per c 
over that from 1847 to 1850, (the mosl 
that supplies the second column. The third is derived from the 

orts during the i 
there . ■. e numberthal was d "unknown," it 

deemed the nearest approximation to the truth, as in all 
records it is littl ations, to add a 

cent, of these, for such is the rein relation to such Mode of ^^ 

records, where there is neither lav, , ition, stmctii 

that the statist can only be , L to approach the truth,] table. 

desirous he may be to be exact. These, then, I havedivided among 
the known in the proportion tl ively. Ac- 

cordingly, this column wasthus con il ru< ted,andi1 d not 

to vary greatly from the truth. It carries, at lea abil- 

ity in its favor. The fourth column re i this, ami fur- 

nishes the ratio of mortality per thousand of the population. 1 pon 
this foundation we arrive at the following remarkable results, 
ct, furnishes the de- 

scription of our population. 

The estimate for New Orleans is very imperfect. In the cast in New 
census with which 1 have been kindly furnished, the nativitieso 
of the city have not been seperated from Ihose of the State, ami 
hem-e are aggregated together. The mortalities of the natives 
of \ew Orleans from yell >t have almost entirely been 

confined to those under ten, with \ and still 

only amount to 3.58 in a 1000. 

While the proportion is shown to be pretty much '•' 
in the ran--.: of States along the Gulf ami South Atlantic (none Do. in the ex- 
being d for Texas and Florida,) the average shows buttreme Sooth- 
13.22 in a 1000, or about l£ per cent., wl tate». 
population, and is very small even for bilious fever, ami will 

250 Report, of Dr. Edward II. Burton on the 

fully sustain some views in relation to the identity of the origin 
and nature of these fevers, in a future part of this Report. 

The next range of States farther North, being the Northern 

slave States, or middle States of the Union, are subjected to a 

Do. from the cost of acclimation w ]^ } s more than double that of the 

Northern ^^ Southern States ; it amounts to 30.63 in a 1000, or a frac- 

•lave States. , , • . 1 • 

tion over 3 per cent. This was to be expected ; the winter cli- 
mates are as different in their temperatures, as the summers in 
their hygrometric properties. 

The next group embraces the Northern States, which still 

Do. from tbe^j^ i ncrea ses this difference, being 32.83 in a 1000, or nearly 
3 i P er cent - ft * s probable that the habits of life between these 
two sections are more influential in the production of this dif- 
ference than the climates. 

But what shall we say of the Northwestern States, having an 

Do. from the mcrease over the Northern States of more than one-third, or 

Northwestern more ^^ ^.^ ^^ ^.^ ^^ ^ q^ g^^ being ^ 2g 

in a 1000, or nearly 4^ per cent. This is a large increase, and 
is not accidental ; it is regular. The States of Tennessee and 
Kentucky, which form the Western part of the group of our 
Northern slave States, is considerably larger than the Eastern. 
The great difference in the life-cost of acclimation be- 
Probabie t ween fj-, e Northeastern and Northwestern States, and those 
from their brethren farther South, probably, in great part, 
arises from their habitual indulgence in animal food and 
general gross living at every meal, more than in any part of 
our country, or probably the civilized world. This habit is 
not readily dropped ; when they immigrate South the process 
of animalization is accompanied with the evolvement of great 
heat or combustion, and is incitive to, and apt to produce 
fever. This calorific process is but slowly adapted to the 
requirements of the climate, and the habit and its conse- 
quences are productive mainly, in our opinion, i if the forego- 
ing results. It is at least suggestive of valuable hints, and 
should not be lost sight of. Man can adapt himself to any 
climate, but it is mainly through his living. This is proved 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 251 

by the valuable and interesting experience of Northern 
voyageurs, who find their crews resist the rigors of a North- 
ern winter in proportion as they adopt the mode of living of 
the natives. It is perfectly reasonable. Where man resists it, 
and carries the habits of one climate into another, he pays 
for it by abbreviation of life. 

British America still rises in the scale, and illustrates its value Do.fromBrit- 
and correctness. It amounts to 50.24. ish America. 

It is equally proved by looking at the small influence from, 
change of climate on those from Mexico, South America and the Do fromS . th 
West Indies, where the great contrast is shown by the exhibit America, 
of only 6.14 in a thousand, and doubtless, these derived their Mexico, and 
liability from coming from districts Avhere the yellow fever is West indies. 
unknown, for the opinion is entertained, by the reporter, that the 
acclimation to the disease in one climate affords immunity 
throughout the zone. 

So much for the natives of this continent, showing an aver- Total, 12 1-3 
age influence of this change of climate on them of about 12.32 per cent, for 
per 1000 in order to acquire perfect acclimation here. Of the ail America. 
colored population there are no records but that of death, and 
the remarkable number of forty-three is given in our mortuary 
table for last year, a number utterly unprecedented in our an- 
nals, although it has been much greater in the country. The Mortality of 
nativity of the slave population is not given. I do not remem- the colored. 
ber ever to have met with a case of death in the black popula- 
tion during the prevalence of this disease in the West Indies, 
except during the recent outbreak. 

The table exhibits, as we proceed down the columns, a still D f 
more serious result from change of climate, while the mortality France . 
of the natives of France, with their temperate living and habit 
of adaptation, have now reached 48.13 per 1000; those from 
England, generally a rather choice population, with fine consti- 
tntions, but with national obstinacy in relation to diet, have as- 
cended to 52.19, probably from a much fuller habit of living, 
not readily adapting itself to the requirements of a warm climate, 
and at least this difference, if not more, exists wherever these two 

-02 Report of Dr. Edioard Jl. Burton on the 

nations are exposed to similar influences in a hot climate, and 
most probably from the cause stated. 

Do. from ire- Tliosefrom Ireland reach the enormous amount of 204.97 

lamU in 1,000, showing the c cesof an entire revolution in 

everything, climate, diet, drink, social habits, all that elevates 

Cause. man to the dignity of his being, from moral, political and phy- 

sical degradati . with propensities and dispo- 

sitions the m 

From North Tin he North of Europe are also very large, 103.26. 

ofEurope. Th e difference of climate is very great, and men -will not, until 
after much suffering, adapt their habits to altered condition. 

From Middle Those from Middle Europe, it will be seen, are much less, 

Europe. 132.01 in 1 000, although still very large, and the same remarks 
apph in those of Ireland, although the social 

not so great, and there exists among the r constitutional 

prudence. Wi , and indeed, all European immigrants, 

and particularly, among the Irish, a propensity to crowd their 
families into a small space, with the inevitable result of accumu- 
i: of filth, and deficient ventilation, is eminently conducive 
to a greatly enhanced m 

But still, the largest mortality in our table is found to exist 
among the immigrants from the I of Western Europe, 

From Holland . . 

reaching the highest elevation ot 328.94 m 1000. Hollandand 

and Belgium. 

Belgium are low, flal countries, with much moisture, -which, at 
a low temperature — with proper comforts of life, is not incom- 
patible wi salubrity, but when these are exchanged for a 
climate of high temperature and duration — and these 
will be shown I a! part of the conditions 
most inimical lo health — together with a total disruption of his 
social habits, thi the constitution is most deeply felt, 

But the climatic- an the high, mountainous regions 

(Switzerland and Austria..) with their low tempera- 
ture, dry, el D food, to the heat, moisture and 
ait, social condition which they soon reach here, is pro- 
ductive of consequences, although great, scarcely sufficient to ac- 


From Svvitz 
erland and 

iition of New Orleans. 253 

count for the large mortality of 220.08 in 1,000. Elevation Accounted 
• in d, in a temperate climate, in its proclivity to develop the for. 
sanguine or blood-making and heat-producing system or tem- 
perament, so different from that of warm climates, where the 

. and which is so much better F rom Spaill 
adapted feo it, must aid in accounting for this large mortality, and Italy. 
This is eminently illustrated in seeing how small is the mortality 
in the natives of Spain and Italy, about one-tenth of those just 
loned, or 22.06 in 1,000. and who are almost uniformly of 

' ' _ • _ / Probable rea- 

the bilious temperament, living on a milder vegetable regimen 

~ ° ~ sou. 

jreal temperance, \\ hich this temperament instinctively calls 

Total population of the city during the year / estimate of the 

unaeclimated ; number of cases of yellow fever in ■public and 

private practice ; ratios of mortality in each ; comparative 

mortality in other countries ; mortality in our rural districts, 

8fc., SfC 

The total population of the city of New Orleans, hy 
the United States census, in 1850, was 129,747. 

By adding the ratio of increase from 1850, and care- Total popnla- 
f'ully and laboriously calculating, from the varied and tionini858. 
imperfect returns of the city census of 1851,-'52, for 
each ward and class of the population, so far as it was 
possible to procure them, I have arrived at the conclu- 
sion that the augmentation, in our aggregate perma- 
nent population in 1853, amounted to 154,132. 

It is well know the increase has heen much greater, 
especially of the floating population. 

The difference between the population during the Difference of 

last preceding epidemic, in 1847, and that of 1S53, population in 

is 45,433; to which add 5000, a very small estimate lsn and 1853. 

of the floating population, and of that large class of 
denizens, who have their actual homes here, but are a 

254 Report of Dr. Edward H. Barton on the 

large part of their time absent, and which are embraced 
in the enumeration of the population of other large 
commercial cities (more particular in this respect) all 
of whom are unknown to our census returns, and who 
generally form the first victims of an epidemic; and 
we have an unacclimated population of 50,433. But 
as no epidemic so thoroughly influences the whole 
population, as to leave none still susceptible to attack, 
and we well know even the last did not, and that was 
the most thorough and wide pervading we ever had : 
whole families escaping, and of course, the disease did 
Total nnaccU- not st0 P f° r tne want of subjects. In fact no epidemic 
mated popu- so thoroughly influences the entire unacclimated pop- 
lation. ulation,in any city, so that none escape; may be from 

some transient or accidental cause, although they may 
be subject to it afterwards, as we now well know. 
During the existence of the plague in Marseilles, in 
1720, when near half the population fell victims to it, 
amounting to 40,000 — thousands did not suffer at all, 
out of a total population of 90,000. It is probable that 
more than double the number was left untouched in 
1847 than were taken sick ; it is deemed fair to estimate 

the total susceptible population, in 1853, at 60,000. 

And the entire city population, at 158,699. 

This will be considered moderate, when I add that 

our foreign immigrant population, arriving in the city, 

to the month of June, '53, reached near 24,000, many 

of whom doubtless remained. 

Number sup- On this as a basis, I have supposed there left the 

posed to have city, before or through the epidemic, and thus reducing 

left the city. our population to that extent, 36,2S3: 

being something less than one-fourth. I have come to 
this conclusion, after a very minute examination into 
all the records and sources through which this exten- 
sive emigration could take place, viz : by the river, 
and through the lake ; by public and private records ; 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 255 

and deducting the ingress from the egress. To he Number in the 

more sure, I have consulted the judgments of those city during the 

who have been hero, like myself, during the epidemics epidemic. 

of the last twenty or thirty years, and there is a pretty 
general concurrence in the belief that the population, 
during the summer, amounted to at least 125,000. 

The total mortality, from yellow fever, during the Mortality by 

year, not only those certified to be such, but a large yellow fever. 

proportion of the " unknown," supposed to be such, 
from a want of proper records ; it is estimated, upon 
all grounds of probability, to be 8,101. 

The ratio of mortality from yellow fever, to the en- Ratios to the 

tire permanent city population, being the calculated [pcr cent] different pop- 
natural increase over the census returns, is 1 in 19.02,or 5-25. nlatiwa. 

The ratio of mortality, to the population supposed 
remaining in the city, or exposed, is 1 in 15.43, or 6-48. 

The ratio of mortality to the population estimated 
susceptible, or wnacclimated, (60,000,) is 1 in 7.40, or. . 13.49. 

And the total mortality of the year, to the total 
known permanent population, after deducting all other 
causes of mortality than disease* was 1 in 10.19, or. . 9-80. 

And including all causes of mortality, 1 in 9.76, or 10.23. 

To arrive at the number of cases of yellow fever which oc- 
curred during the year, the details are more precise than have 
ever been attained here before, but still far from perfect, 
owing to the backwardness in the faculty reporting their 

The reliable returns are derived from the following 
sources, viz : 

[Cases.] [Deaths.] [percent.] 

There occurred at the Charity Hospital, 3312, of which, 1890, being 53-84. 

The Howard Association had, besides 429 in the ) 
Touro Infirmary, and about half of those in V 9353, " 2252, " 24-09. 

the four Board of Health Infirmaries ) 

* Deduct from the aggregate. Table F, the following causes of deaths, not 
from disease, viz : "non viable," 13; "still born," 346; casualties, 61; drowned, 105; 
burns and scalds, 18; hydrophobia, 6; poisoned, 4 ; wounds, 47; suicide, 14; old 
*iir<% ~> ; treatment, 3 ; (to which ought rightly to be added, intemperance, 123; al- 
though 1 refrain,) amounting to 670, or about 4Vi per cent, of the whole mortality, 
and reduce.- this to 15,117 ; and the ratio of mortality will be as above. 

1 have not made this correction in Chart A, for previous years, because I had not 
the materials. The deduction would have, doubtless, been much larger. 

25G Report of Dr. Edward 11. Barton on the 

[Gat [Deaths ] [percent 

Cases.mortal- Tim Town Infirmary, of Howard 429; others, 94,.. 523, of which 213, 
ity, run] ratios '^' 10 Maison de Santi, 338 97, 

The Hospital, ISO " 79, 

in various „ ,__ ,, . 

The Board of Health i ad Howard Infirmary, No. 1, 343 ■' 18», 

public institu- (1 „ « « ,< No. 2,.... 338 " 170, " 51-18. 

lions. " " " " " No. 3, 1500 

No. 4,.... 432 " 207, " 47-91. 

City Workhouse, let District, 89 " 1!, 

'1 District, 30 " " 16-16. 

'.ie Asylum 9 " 0, " 00-00. 

The Boys' Orphan Asylum, 4th District, 60 " 2, 

The Boys' House of Refuge, 21 " C, " 28-57. 

The Girls' House of Refuge, 21 " 1, " 4-76. 

The Catholic Female Orphan Asylum, Camp st. . - 81 " 4, " 

The Poydr as Female Orphan Asylum, : M " 9, '• l 1 

The Circus Street Infirmary, no returns, but estima- 

ted about 300 " 100, " 

irted to me, and ) 
by members of the ', 
How r philanthropic )• 2929 " ; ' 22-02. 

individuals, and me rate of mor- | 

tality as the Howard's public practice* J lal to 

Ratio?. Making the total of elemosynary- cases, or at 194T9 " 6409 

per cent, or 1 in 3 
From various members of the faculty, in the city, 
Numberof whose nami itioned hereafter, 1 ' 
cases in pri- had reported to me, localised, 7624. 

From I ission 

vate practice. . . , 

IS abb; to lorm ol the location, practice, and 

number of those who have not reported, it 

believes they do not exceed 1917. 

The total, then, in private practice, to w hich must 

be debited I of the mortality from 

yellow fever, amount- to 9541 " 1691 17-72 

Total ratios. percent., or 1 in 5.89. 

Making the total number of cases in lb 

29,020 " 8101 

per cent., or lin3 

This is the largest number of cases, and the greatest mor- 
tality from yellow fever that ever afflicted our city. But it 
is the least mortality to the number of cases that has ever 
occurred in a great and malignant epidemic yellow fever, 
led by physicians of thi r entirely without 

cnll of dutj and hi 

i ii alence here,! 

rj e into the in 

i profes- 

lionor and d ion less 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans, 267 

such as this wa?, and it is but fair to claim for our faculty 
and philanthropic associations, unequalled skill and kindness, Tribute to the 
iii the treatment of the greatest scourge of our country, as I fruity; our 
shall presently show. It is but a faint tribute of praise, due ass0Cia00UR 

. „ , l i i c . and friend* 

to the warm hearts and open purses or our countrymen, in 
other sections of our happy union, to acknowledge that much 
of this proceeded from their kind aid, in the deepest hours of 
our travail we saw that our calamity was felt with electric 
speed every where, and that relief, accompanied with warm 
sympathy, came, even beyond our wants; which was then as 
liberally distributed to our suffering fellow-citizens elsewhere. 
Now, thoroughly to understand ounelative status to other 
places, and it can oidy be done by comparison, let us en pas- 

i i /t- • /• i • t • i Whycom- 

sant, cast a glance at the sufferings from tins disease in other 

pare with oth- 

cities and countries, not that it makes our misfortunes any 

J er cities. 

the less, but it is consolatory to know, that other cities have 
suffered as much or more than we have, and are now enjoying 
the blessings of health. It will be made probable that we 
might, by similar means, do so also, and it is for that purpose, 
mainly, that I make this comparison. 

In Philadelphia, in 1703, the ratio of mortality to those exposed or Mortality of 

remained, was 1 in 10 epidemic ; 

and the ratio to the entire population 1 in 13 „ . 

do. do. hi 1797, the ratio of mortality to those that remained, 1 in 16.6 

... , .. , , ..jn Philadclp'a 

and to the entire population 1 in oO 

do. do, in L79P, the mortality to the entire population was 1 in 15.50 ' n '93-*97-*98. 

and to the number exposed 1 in 6 

The three epidemics of the same city, for 1793, 1797 and 1798, gave an 

;e mortality of the entire population of 1 in 14.24 

and of those that remained in the city, of 1 in 10.13 

And the mortality to the cases attacked in the epidemic years, from 1793 

downwards varied from 1 in 1.2, in 1819 to 1 in 3.86 

in 1805, giving an i lemica of 1 in 2.12 Average hcw- 

The loss at the Hospital alone during the epidemics of pitai mortaii- 
1793, 1797, 1798, 1799, and 181)2-3, the only years in which *?• 
the admissions were recorded, varied from 1 in 1.6S (1799) 
to 1 in 2 (18.).?,) with an average for the six seasons of 1 in 

In these several attacks of epidemic yellow fever in Phila- 


Report of Dr. Edward 11. Barton on the 

Where most delphia, it was remarked, that it was much more fatal in the 

fatal. ] ow fiit],y malignant atmosphere of gome districts, than in 

those where the}' were more elevated and aiiy — in those in 

wooden houses than in those of brick. This is found to be 

the case every where. 

in New York 1 >lie g ei *eral mortality to cases in New York, was about 

Baltimore and 1 U» «J "» BALTIMORE, 1 ill 2.87; ill CHARLESTON, about 1 in 

Charleston. 4 of the cases fatal, on an average of the several authorities. 
In Savannah the number of persons dying of autumnal dis- 
eases to the whole white population was in 1S17, 1 in 9f , and 
in 1S20 1 in 5.1-10. In Natchez, on an average of a num- 
ber of years, the mortality to cases was 1 in 2.13 and 1 in 16 
of the population. In Mobile, 1839, and 1817 the average 
mortality to cases, was estimated at 1 in 7. The mortality 
to the cases in the epidemic here of 1820, was 1 in 6 in adult 
Mortality in whites, in various description of persons ; as women, children, 
New Orleans, blacks, 1 in 10. The average in New Orleans in a series of 
years to 1849, the mortality was 1 in 4, this, hovv-ver is taken 
mostly from the Hospitals, in private practice about 1 in 8 or 
9, and the proportion to general population as 1 in 55. From 
an estimate I made some years ago, from the results in pri- 
vate practice, there is some difference from those above, 
which are obtained with the preceding interesting historical 
statement, from the reliable authority of Dr. R. La Roche, in 
Philadelphia, mine made the mortality in private practice to 
vary from 1 in 10 to 1 in 2> v , while those in Hospital did not 
vary greatly from those in our public institutions last 
with the exception of being from about 10 to 15 per cent. 
During the late epidemic, the statements, as usual, 
were conflicting and imperfect — no estimate that is entirely 
reliable can be formed of ir, in private practice ; I have aver- 
I it at 1 in 5.89, it is impossible from obvious circumstan- 
ces, to arrive at the exact truth, it no doubt varied from 4 to 
50 per cent. 

During 1804, not less than twenty-fi\ , u d towns were 

visited by the fever, in Sjwin ; the population amounted to four 

tary Condition of New Orleans. 259 

hundred and twenty-seven thousand two hundred and twenty- in Spain, 
eight, of which fifty-two thousand five hundred and fifty-nine, 
or 1 in 8.12, perished. In fourteen of these places, at different 
Is, the mortality, in proportion to the population, was 1 in 
6.42; the extrei 55, and 1 in 13.3. In seven 

places, the proportion of persons affected, amounted to 1 in 278 
of the population ; the extreme being 1 in 1.18, and 1 in 5. In 
twenty-one, the average proportion of deaths, to the number 
affected, was 1 in 3.087 ; the extreme being 1 in 1.3, and 1 in 
6.42. While two hospitals gave a mortality of 1 in 2.15 of the 
number admitted, with extremes of 1 in 11, and 1 in 282.* 

In the West Indies it is often difficult, as it is here, to obtain in the West 
exact records ; the public and private practice being so different. Indies - 
In the government military hospitals, in Cuba, the mortality 
from yellow fever is very small, not exceeding often, ( if the 
statistics, as published, can be relied on,) two to five per cent.; 
while in the hospital for the reception of the poor, it is very 
large, as large as any where. 

In Vera Cruz, the mortality in private practice is very small; At VeraCmz 
the treatment being very mild and simple. While in the 
military hospitals, with the Mexican soldiers coming from the 
tierras templados if Has, (upper country,) it is frightful; some- 
times nearly the whole dying, and the whole per centage is that 
of escape, wnich is very small ! The filth of the hospital, and 
intemperance of the men, being very great. The details will 
be given hereafter, when we come to show the influence of sani- 
tary measures upon it, and the comparison of other Southern 
cities with New Orleans. 

In Rio Janiero, from the highly valuable information the Ratio of mor- 
Sanitary Commission has received direct through the United taiity of dif- 
Statcs Consul, Robert Gr. Scott, Esq., (who has sent inany f «ent classes 
valuable documents; see proceedings,) exhibiting a remarkable al Rl °- 
proof of the protection, and assimilative influence of climates, 
on these diversities, all exposed for the first time to this (then) 
new malady — affecting them respectively as follows : 

* Dr La Roche 

260 Report of Br. Edward H. Barton on the 

per cent. 

On native Brazilians, about 

On negroes of recent aud former importation, from la to 2 

On : d, (to that country.) Europeans, 5 to 6 

On the unacclimated and sailors, a mortality of about 30 

Mortaiiiy in j n tfjg interior towns of this and the adjoining states, the 
themtenor. m ortality to the cases, as also to the population, was, last season, 
much larger than in this city, many villages being more than 
decimated of their population ; of the mortality to cases, proba- 
bly nearly half dying, in many places. This can only be 
accounted for by a want of familiarity with the disease, and not 
having proper nurses. In this city, where these exist, it is 
probably as successful, in the same description of subjects, as it 
is any where. In Havana and Vera Cruz, with a Spanish and 
Mexican population, and from the South of Europe generally, 
whose inhabitants are not given to intemperance, the mortality 
is very small. Indeed, with them, it is not considered the most 
dangerous form of fever, nor can it hardly be deemed so here, in 
good subjects, with proper care aud attention. 
Great mortal- Professor Dickson, says ; " Yellow fever must be viewed as 
it? from >ei- one of the most destructive forms of pestilence, exepding even 
low fever flj e pl a g Ue perhaps, in proportion to mortality. In 1804, in 
abroad. Gibraltar, out of a population of nine thousand civilians, but 
twenty-eight persons escaped an attack, and the deaths amoun- 
ted to more than one in three. Musgrave gives a scarcely less 
terrible account of it in Antigua, in 1806. In Jamaica, under 
the care of Dr. Hume, three out of four died of it. In the 
city of Philadelphia, in 1S20, there died eighty-three out of one 
hundred and twenty five, about two out of three." During the 
late outbreak of the yellow fever, in Philadelphia, there occur- 
red one hundred aud twenty-eight deaths, out of one hundred 
and seventy cases, in public and private practice, making a 
mortality of 1 in every 1.48, or seventy-five per cent. 

It will be apparent from these statements, that yellow fever 
is a much moit* latal disease in Northern than in Southern 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. '261 

climates. The subjects i much as the treatment and 

the climates. 

Epidemic Constitution — Its Constituents — Proof — Influence on 
Vegetable and Animal Life — Meteorological Elements — 
Terrene do. — D rom, an Endemic — 

An Epidemic cannot be Imported — Epidemic requires local- 
ising causes for its development. 

Having thus shown the special medical constitution and of its 
disastrous influence on man — and contrasted its effects here 
with what it has displayed, not only in various parts of our own 
country, but throughout the yellow fever zone ; we now pro- 
ceed to approach it a little nearer and ascend to its causes. 
Let us scrutinize these, as well general as local, that we may 
thoroughly understand our status — the principle upon which it 
depends for existence, and by a practical application draw 
useful lessons from it, 

I proceed then to exhibit the evidence, which proves, first, Division of 
that a great epidemic constitution, or what has been denomi- the subject, 
nated '' epidemic meteoration," existed ; and secondly, what, 
were the probable causes or constituents of it. 

We have evidence of the existence of a great epidemic yellow 
fever in 18.33, not only over the city of New Orleans, but over 
a large portion of the Southwestern part of the United States ; Epidemics 
{'rom its effects on nearly all the forms of life, animal, as well formed of cer- 
as vegetable ; that there were some vast influences let loose or tain constitu- 
developed, or some apparent irregularity in the ordinary enU - 
elements of existence, that was at war with its being, that is 
atial to be understood, in order to derive the necessary aid 
to counteract or control them. It is of vast practical value 
then to know the constituents which composed it, if they be 
susceptible of analysis, for it may be considered a settled 
opinion with all intelligent men, that epidemics derive their 
■ ad themselves frem certain unusual circumsta, ■ 

262 Report of Dr. Edward II. Barton cm the 

and conditions, that these are required to give them activity, 
and the important fact is clearly inferable that being the sine 
qua ?wn, they form them. This, in the nature of things, 
from its wide pervading, direct and almost immediate influence 
over an extensively spread population, must be atmospherical, 
and we state them, en passant now, to be more specially men- 
tioned hereafter, that the admission of this principle — the 
admission of a wide-spread atmospherical element as a necessary 
constituent, draws after it an important, if not inevitable in- 
ference, in its being a conclusive answer to all averments of its 
contagious qualities! — not that a contagious disease cannot 
if e idemic Decome epidemic ( although it is very rare ), but the difference 
notconta- * s > ^ iat a contagious disease never looses that quality, and epi- 
gious. demic disease does, directly it is removed out of the sphere of 

the epidemic atmosphere, which always has bounds and limits, 
however extensive it may be, and beyond the influence of the 
localising conditions which will be pointed out hereafter. The 
testimony in support of this, which the Sanitary Commission 
has obtained, has been most ample and conclusive. We make 
it as our offering to the vast proofs with which medical record 
abound on this important subject. 
Proof of an An epidemic disease is known to prevail when a large 
epidemic. number of cases of disease, of the same type and character, 
atmosphere, break out, either simultaneously, or within a brief period, 
over a considerable extent of a city or country, wearing one 
general livery, andevincing and maintaining a sivay over all pre- 
vailing diseases. The statement of this proposition, is to carry 
conviction of its truth to all those who witnessed the charac- 
teristics of the disease last summer, when forms of morbid 
action, that were not suspected to be yellow fever, from 
wanting its prominent symptoms, were suddenly terminated by 
black vomit. Indeed, so fatal was its influence in many cases, 
that nearly, and in some cases all its stages, were merged in 
the last and unequivocal one — the fatal black vomit, as a 
child in the nurses arms, in others, in a vain attempt at vital 
re-action, the system sinking in the effort within twelve hours ; 

n of New Orleans. 263 

so virulent the poison, so futile the recuperative principle. 
The general uniformity of its type, its speedy prevalence over Fartheriiroof - 
the entire city, breaking out in distant and disconnected parts 
at the same time, and by-and-bye, extending over its entire 
area, and thence, as we shall see, to different parts of the 
country, not immediately, even in those having hourly com- 
munication with the city, hut many weeks afterwards, as the 
combined principle (meteorological and terrene) became ma- 
tured and extended, with a greater or less prevalence and 
intensity of the localising causes, to be mentioned hereafter. 

It is farther proved from its reaching insulated places, as Do 
jails, penitentiaries and lock-ups, heretofore exempt. Even 
insulation on a plantation did not always exempt the inmates ; 
in the tardiness and great length of convalescence (taking 
about double the usual period,) the great liability to relapse, 
from the deficiency of re-action in those that continued in the 
epidemic atmosphere, and the rapidity of restoration on a 
removal from it. 

Hence then the atmosphere constituted wings for the pro- 
pagation of the general epidemic and localising conditions 
gave it .. habitation in various places. 

What is meant by an epidemic atmosphere then, is the 
presence of certain elementary constituents or their combi- 
nation different from the habitual or normal condition. We 
shall essay hereafter to state, in what these consist. We 
have no proof of anything beyond this combina- 

tion, and this is two-fold, the meteorological part probably E ^ idemic at ~ 
forming the predisponent, is innocuous without the other, it" 10 ** 51161 ' 6, 
is but one blade of the " shears, " the second is the local 
circumstances and influence — the true localising or fixing 
power. It is what has been denominated by high authority 
*"the test and touchstone of poison" — that produces its 
development whether acting on individuals or communities, 
filth in every kind, degree and sense, represents our meaning. 
For an atmosphere to prove epidemic pre-supposes the pre- 

*Mr. Limou. 

2C4 Report of Dr. Edward 11. Barton on the 

fence of both. If there is only one of them present, (and 
its great either one of them is the same) the efTecls do not take place. 
If a case is carried from an infected locality to one that is 
pure, it does not spread ; hut if conveyed to a place where 
there exists an impure, kindred or infected atmosphere, the 
disease is propagated, and it Beems, to the surperficial observ- 
er, " contagious, " and hence arises the establishment of one 
of the great " false facts " in physic, and the foundation for 
Contagion in- endless, but ridiculous controversies to the disgrace of science 
dependent of an( j t y i& i n j ur y f humanity. Instances corroborative of each 
c,r " of these conditions, are furnished in another page. The 

cu instances. . . . . _ ...... 

special characteristic attribute ot contagion is that it is irre- 
spective of external conditions ; it pays no respect to climates, 
zones or seasons; it requires no special atmosphere — it yields 
to none ; it is selr-propagative and progressive, and depen- 
dant upon its own creative and self-sustaining powers. To 
none of these has yellow fever any similitude. 
On vegetable Certain atmospheric appearances have been often observed 
and animal h ere> during the cholera epidemics of 1832 and 1833. The 
life, formerly, ^ark murky " cholera cloud," as it was then denominated, 
hung over our devoted city, like a funeral pall, as -long as 
the epidemic continued, and struck every heart with dismay- 
The experiment with meat, has been often tried during a 
cholera epidemic, and it usually became putrid, if some- 

Soon tainted _ * 

what elevated in the atmosphere, and filled with animalcules. 
This, however, is believed not to be remarkable, as it would 
take place at any season. It was observed here last year 
that butcher's meat became earlier tainted in the stall than 
usual. Birds and beasts have been driven from their usual 
haunts, into the deepest recesses of the forest, showing by 
their instincts that they were sensible of some malign 
properties existing in the bosom of that atmosphere whence 
they derive their main vital influence. At Lake Providence 
Judge Selby noticed that the feathered tribe almost entirely 
disappeared during the prevalence of the epidemic. In a 
former outbreak of cholera, on the " coast," it was observed 


Birds driven 
and killed. 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 265 

that the carrion crows ceased to make their appearance, 
although there were plenty of dead cattle exposed in the 
fields. An unusual influence on animal life has been often 
remarked during the existence of cholera here. In Spain, 
so malign has the air been sometimes found during the exist- 
ence of yellow fever, that birds confined in their cages have 
died. The older records in our profession, of periods when 
epidemics raged with one hundred-fold more violence than 
they have done in later times, almost every species of animal 
life suffered — nor do I know of any reason for the compara- 
tively lesser influence of epidemics of latest, over ancient 
times, than the extension of the comforts of life, and the 
refinements which civilization has wrought, which, really, 
are nothing else but sanitary measures. 

Nor are we without evidences of the extension of such its influen*. 
influence to the vegetable creation. During the late visita-on animal 
tion, Mr. Lawrence, who is engaged largely in horticulture, and vegetable 
in the lower part of the city, informs me that his garden Ufe m the 
seed would often fail to germinate, but still more often, nolg or ° 
when they would sprout up a few inches from the soil, a 
sudden blight would seize them, and in a few days they 
would wilt and die. This was eminently the case with the 
cauliflower, the celery, the cabbage, raddish and other veg- 
etables. To keep up his stock, he, in vain, applied to his 
neighbors, to those on the opposite side of the river, and 
down the coast. The same influence had been extended to 
them. Many of his fowls died, old and young, without Epidemic m ~ 
previously appearing: sick. These effects only continued 

r . J *^ 6 J onth 8 coa»tof 

during the epidemic. In other parts of the country similar 
effects were produced in the destruction of the various kinds 
of poultry, in the tainting and destruction of orchard fruit, 
and a blighting influence of various forms of vegetable life ; 
and on the coast of Texas the fish were found dead in im- 
mense quantities, as reported to the Sanitary Commission, viz: 
At Biloxi, the peaches rotted on the trees ; great mortality BBni. 

existed among the fowls ; flies and musquitoes remarkably nu- 

- ( '^ Report of Dr. Edward B. Barton on the 

raerous; mould on the trees; heat unusually great; ther- 
mometer 94°; two earthquakes during the season; many 
cases of yellow fever, without personal intercourse, with 
any sick of the disease.* 
Bay of St. ^ -g^ ^ Louis, there was an epidemic among fowls. 

At Bayou Sara, the China trees bad a sickly appearance 

Bayou Sara 

and their leaves covered with a crustaceous larvae.f 

Centreviite. _^t Qentreville, musquetoes and flies more numerous than 
ever observed before ; and mould of a drab color, and very 
abundant,- season unusually wet, and heat of sun very great.J 

Clinton. At Clinton, musquetoes uncommonly numerous night and 


Baton Rouge, j_t Baton Rouge, " fruit of tbe peach full of worms, and po- 
tatoes rotted in the ground." 

Lake Provi- At Lake Providence, "fowls very sickly and many of them 

dence. died ; animals and plants sickly — many had bumps upon 

them; musquetoes tenfold more numerous than ever known 
before ; never saw one-twentieth part of the mould ; toad- 
stools vastly more plentiful than heretofore ; a peculiar smell 
pervaded the atmosphere of the place." § 

Port Gibson. j^ Tort Gibson, dark and unhealthy spots on the peaches; 
bright and bluish mould very common on the grain. Dr. 
McAlister writes that during eighteen years of close obser- 
vation, he had never seen such repeated floods, attended with 
such an excess of thunder and lightning, succeeded by such 
hot sultry days, during the latter part of the summer. The 
city occupies a level locality on a rich alluvial soil, and pre- 
sented during this time, the appearance of a marsh. 

Natche*. At Natchez, epidemic among poultry (fowls) ; musquetoes 

very numerous, and the epidemic particularly severe with 
pregnant women. | 

At Washington, Miss., epidemic among poultry (turkeys) 

At Waihlng- . " ' . 

wn. taking off entire slocks, without apparent cause; their livers 

found greatly enlarged and diseased.^] 

* Drs Byrenhcidt & Cochrane t Brown. J Dr. Wood. 

§ Judge Selby. II Ur. Davu. H Prof Wailea. 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 267 

At Gainesville, fruit rotting prematurely and extensively ; AtGainsvilIe - 
native cows dying in great numbers, without obvious cause. 

But fortunately f.r the int rest of truth, the recent progress 
of science has not even left this hithertc dark corner, without 
other rays of Kgh*, with which to illuminate it. The Smith- 
sonian In titution, in the noble language of its founder, estab- 
"to extend knowledge among men," is spreading the 
en'ightening rays of science ov-r every rogion of our country. 
I am indebted to the kindness of Professoi Blodget of that 
valuabl institution, who has most obligingly answered the 
queries I hav: addressed him upon the subject, for the subjoined 
information, containing direct and conclusive proof of an epi- 
; owing, most satisfactorily, that wherever 
the epidemic influence was felt by man, there was exhibited 
v through meteorology, of the existences of that atmosphere, 
that this prevailed to a most remarkable extent, that, notwith- 
standing the advanced period of the season and the presence of 
a remarkable elevation of temperature — that is proved not to 
have been a sufficient meteorological ingredient to constitute the 
epidemic constitution, and that the disease did not become de- 
ed until there was superadded to this, high saturation, 
affording demonstrations upon the subject, it is believed, never 
exhibited before. 


" The Temperature Comparisons. 
" The comparison of mean temperature, at various stations information 
embraced in the district over which the yellow fever extended of epidemic 
at sometime during the summer, with the mean for a series f influencefrom 
, or for 1852, shows, on the whole, a greater number of mi M 

. . -,.,,. -it , w • i* ln-titutioii. 

bive than positive differences. Yet the inferences, suppor- 
ted by the first view, of a colder or less tropical summer tempera- 
ture, are the reverse of truth, as may readily be shown. The 
daily curve of the temperature is much less sharp iu the rainy 
summer of the tropics, than in the latitude of New Orleans, in 
usual seasons. When, therefore, a temporary institution of 
(his rainy and humid tropical summer occurs in these latitudes, 
the mean temperature deduced from the usual observations ie too 

268 Report of Dr. Edioard H. Barton on the 

Rainy MMon i 0Wj and lhe tme raean) a i s0> i ower than usua l. Thus, in the 
e rainy season of Central America, the mean for July descends 

midday tern- 

to 77°, deduced from the usual hours: while in Texas, it rises 


and elevates* 85 °- ^ ^ ort Brown, on tue ^ i0 Grande, July, of the 
the morning present year, was dry and healthy. In August the tropical 
and evening, rains set in, and, with the same morning and evening tempera- 
ture, the midday mean fell from 92° to 88.7°. The same 
result occurred at New Orleans, in the contrast of June and 
Tropical wea- July, in a still more decided manner, the morning mean rising, 
iher in New * n j u ^ g.go aDove that for the same hour in June, and the 
oriean*. in midd mean falli 2.50 fcelow that of June. The daily 


curve, from minimum to maximum, was thus diminished during 
the rainy month of July G°, and was actually but 4.4°, an un- 
precedented low, and peculiarly tropical curve. 

" Comparison of all the stations here given, in this manner, 
And extended WQU | ( j p rove t hc apparent low temperatures they exhibit, to 
rone on naye Deen tf ie institution of conditions approaching the tropi- 
cal climate more nearly than in any year of which we have 
precise record. 

tl In further proof of this position, the great and general heats of 

the summer on this continent may be cited. A change of ten 

EqBaltoare " degrees of latitude, Southward, would give about the precise 

mova eg. measure3 f temperature and humidity actually experienced on 

farther Sonth. , . _ Tr . ... . „ . 

the continent With this general accession of temperature, the 
humidity, and sanitary consequences, follow inevitably. 
Rains as shown by the Table. 
'' The amount of rain, as a rude measure of humidity, is given 
at several stations, in comparison, also, with the means of a 
series of years. 
*iwj«ency of " Frequency of rains is next to amount ; and in the pres- 
rains, next to ent case is particularly important. The stations are thus dis- 
a mount, tinguished in connection with the tables of amount. * 
evinoe tropi- •< To group the results : South Florida only was profusely 
»»i condition!. ra j nv j n J une , except for the last half of the month, when 
New Orleans became remarkable for frequency of rains. In 
July Texas was very dry ; New Orleans the reverse, with tro 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 269 

pical frequency of rains. In Northern Florida and South Rains ;and fe " 
Carolina the rains were heavy, though not unusually frequent. verscotempo " 
In August the tropical rains of New Orleans continued, and raneous ' 
hegan at the close of the month in lower Texas. In Sep- 
tember they spread over the Gulf coast East and West of 
New Orleans, and diminished at that point. In October they 
were continued on the Rio Grande, and at Bermuda, and 
other islands, and over most of the Gulf coast also. 

" The yellow fever hegan on the Rio Grande with these rains 

In Texas and 

m August, and continued till they ceased in October ! It be- 

° Mobile, fever 

gan in other parts of Texas with the same conditions, and so d rains si 
at Mobile, continuing toith their unusual continuance. uitaneom. 


" The mean humidity or per centage of saturation, is given 
for the observed hours, and for the mean of the whole month 
at several stations in the South and West. June is seen to 
have a low fraction of saturation in all parts of the United 
States, except at New Orleans, where, with a temperature 3° simultaneous 
above the mean, the saturation was unusually high. In July ° ccurrence of 
the fraction of saturation at New Orleans largely exceeded the fever Wlth 
that at. any other locality observed, Savannah, Ga., approach- 

. tion and ele- 

iner it most nearly. In August it was largely increased at all 

° JO o J vationoftem- 

stations; in Texas and at Savannah becoming nearly as great peraturei 
as at New Orleans in June. In September it was slightly 
less at New Orleans, and greater in Texas, and Eastward 
from New Orleans, at Mobile, &c. October had mainly a 
high temperature and high fraction of saturation." 

For proof and illustration of these positions, reference is made 
to the tables J, K, L, and M, subjoined, containing records 
of temperature, rain and humidity, throughout and beyond 
the epidemic region of last year, and the averages of other 
years, with which to compare it. The whole is most conclu- 


Report of Dr. Edward II. Bar Ion on. the 


SONVJLLE, 1853—53. 

I .I.-in. | Feb. | Mar.| An, i: |M»y. Mime.l July. I Aug. | Sept.| Oct. | Nov. | Dec, 


74. 00 



78 00 






74 47 




" " 1853.... 
Jacksonville, 1853. . 






63 58 

" 18 



54 94 


Savannah,... 1852 8.7219 310 5 324 5 040 4 673.. 

" 1853... 1. 147 1.142 2.479 0.444 3.959 787 6.464 8.168 9.427 2.888 3.096 6 882 

Jacksonville, 1853. 

0.465 1.530 

Pensacola,...1852 4 862 833 14.000 500 

" 1853.... 3 250 4 062 2 562 500 0.200 937 2.531 1562 14-7815 500 1.000 1.969 

3 240 

9.350 2.275 3 618 






.7401 .' ■ 
.690 .707 .773 
1 .826] .864 


. 7 



" 1853... 



TABLE J. — Mean Temperatures for 1853 in Districts in which Yellow 
Fever at same time prevailed — And a Comparison with a mean of 
years, or with the year 1852. 

1 JUNE. 1 JULY. | AUG. | SKPT. 1 OCT. 

Charleston, — Ft. Moultrie . 


"Wkitemarsh Is'd, 


Key "West, 

Ft. Brooke, Fla, 

Ft. Meade, Fla, 

Cedar Keys, 


New Orleans, 

Austin , 

New Wied, 

Fort Brown, 


































































































































— 1.8 



Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 



Weathrr at various Stations during the Yellow Fever months of 1853. 



Fort Moultrie,. 

Savannah, ... 



Key West,.. 
Fort Meade, 

Fort Brooke, . . 

Cedar Keys,.. 


New Orleans,. 


San Antonio,.. 
Fort Graham,. 
Fort Brown,.. 


Very dry. 

Last ball'. . . . 
showery . . . 


Very showery. 

Very wet. 
Showery . 




C Last half. . 
\ ehowry.. . 

Usual . 
Usual . 


Very showery. 

Very showery. 

Very showery 

Usual or dry. . 

Very wet 

< Dry ex. lust 
I rive days.. 



Very dry. 

Very showery 

He'vy sho'ers. 

< 1st half very 
l wet 


Very wet. . 

Usual Very wet 

Showery . 



Usual or dry. . 

Very showery. 

C Humid, few 

) showers 


Cist half dry, 
) 2d " 

Shower v. 

( First half.. 
I showery. . . 

J 1st half very 
) wet 


C Frequnt 


Few showers. 

1st half very 

1st half very 

1st half wet, 
2d do humid 

<. Constantly 
I showery . . . 


TABLE L. — Amount of Bain at Stations at which Yellow Fever prevailed, 
for tkeSum mer months of 1853, and in comparison with a mean of several 

yea is . 

| June. 

Charleston, Ft. Moultrie- - 


Whitemarsh Island, Ga... 

Cedar Keys 

Key West 

Ft. Brooke, Fla 

Bermuda 1853 

Ft. Me 

lola ■ 


Ft. Brown, Matoinoras . , 















July. | Aug 






— (i.l 

















1 .690 
—1 .5 





Nov. | Dec. 




Report of l)r. Edward If. liar km on the 

o a 





ullodon, Ga., ... 

utaw, Ala , 

New Orleans, . . 







ew Harmony, 1 

ubuque, Iowa,. 








Ff L 

re C 

a . • 
p ' 






re vji 
3 '0 

s . 



re co 

S> JO 





K Ol 
- _fO 





; to B en 

S- 10 

• • 

-1 ™ -J 00 ■ Ct> to , 



o oi 


' -1 Ol O -) 



lb , 

U- Ol ., rf». Oe 


s — - 0- .. 


. -r. 4- J- V', 

* Ol Ol (0 00 * 
OS CO rf- 

. en rf.^, 


' CI to ^ 


O Ci 

(- 1 C 'X 


Cf. to 

CO to 




-0.1— a; — o o <*- o 

o Si 

-1 Ol o 



_ 00 


O -J O) -** 

O: -J 

00 OS Ol -J 

~< 3~. 


.u to 

i— to os Oi 


o to 


CO to 

•— CO Ol to 

-t -^ 


Kt a 

-J 00- • 00, 

Oi to h- • to 

c or ■ co 

00 oooo to- 

go no i_ 

O Ol 

■ -JOl 

ot Ol CO (O 

O M 



ot oi M • rf^« 

lb U».o 


1— o • o> 


■ O. ID 

Ci 00 

c Be 


c c 



-J- • CO- 


HOQDi . Uo ^^c 

CO io - 


C -J 

■ c. to 

no ■ 



O -J • -i 

c. o 


00 -J -J -1 

-J ^-1 



CM • O 

O •*>. 

• CO oo 

o o 


CO CO to 


-J tO' ooto CT 

oo to- 


to 00 CO oo , 

if £=* 

o o ^ o o 



co -J 

■ c to 

a oi 


a- K 

Ol C!„ 01 Ol.. 

to CO « -J 00 *- 


Ol CI., 

d> C 

• — en 


1 J 

Ol cc to 00 

o *• 



o • o o 


CO — 



-J 00 

-1 — 


00 tO 

• OH 


GO CO *. O 

to O 01 -1 

• -i to 


Ol 00 Ol o 

-J c c 


-j to no to, 

c c^o o 

tO tO a 

• fO Ci c; 


£ CJ1J- 

co .b t~ 

to *. ~ . 


O 'O 

a O' -i 

C 'CO 


cnoi 0>C! 

*. CO *- 

Ol . 

ffiC] , (j, 

' OS to " 



c •**- o *- 

O fO 

• <U -J 


C C5 

i— ib • CO 

C -1 




• co-j~ 

. ik-JC 


o ■ o- 


no • 




00 00 

• 00 -J. 

-J 00 



o os 

• o to 


«u Ot 


CO oo 

CO o 


to • 

00 00 3, 



»> to 



CO ^ ^ 




CO to o o 






I— t 

















In comparison with 1852, and with - previons years generally, the difference of hours must be 
taken into account. Sunrise and 6 a. m. always give a higher fraction of saturation than 7 a. m. ; 
and the mean deducted from G. 2, 10; and from sunrise and 3 p. m. it is id ways greater than that 
from 7, 2, 9. The precise measure of this correction lias not been determined. 

June, of l! 3 5:(. was everywhere less humid than 1852, except at New Orleans j there its fraction 
of saturation was greater in 1853, distinguishing this point at, reversing the condition common to 
most other pints of the country for that month. 

July, of I s "' i. has a higher saturation at Austin, New Orleans, and Savannah- elsewhere less 
than in 1852. 

In August, 1853, is everywhere of higher saturation than in previous years • and the difference 
is greatest at New Orleans. 

September, 185:), presents the same conditions prevailing in August. 

October is uot sufficiently observed, 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 273 

Such then, are some of the direct proofs furnished by me- 
teorology, of the limits and extension of the great epidemic. 
It is only to be regretted that every village and hamlet in the 
country does not supply data of a similar character, to make 
the application still more precise. On a critical analysis of 
these highly valuable observations, it will be seen with what 
exact accordance they correspond with the variable outbreak 
of the epidemic in every part of this extended region. In 

Great heat 

every instance where the facts are known great heat and high ,,. , 

^ ° ° and high satu- 

saturation were the predominant conditions for the preva- ration always 
lence of the disease, and it was often remarked that " the present 
return of these conditions reproduced the fever two or three 
times:" 1 Can proof be made stronger? It will be thus seen 
how truthfully and philosophically this explanation comes in 
to substitute itself for that most unsatisfactory and barba- 
rous one of contagion, sundering, so far as it extends its 
creed, every tie that binds man to man, as we have unfortu- 
nately found to be the case in many instances during the last 
season in the interior, not in this city, where the doctrine is en- 
tirely new. The inhumanity of that attribution is only equaled 
by its folly. If yellow fever is contagious, it is a law of the 
disease, this it must carry into all places, and under all cir- 

■i /ti „ " . . ,, .... bletobeeon- 

cumstances (like small pox.) A '■'■contingent contagion ^ is 
a medical misnomer, is void of a precedent, and has no par- 
allel in the annals of the science. Every device has been 
resorted to in the way of experiment to show the contagious 
quality of yellow fever, if any existed, but have all signally 
failed. That it may be infectious under certain circumstan- To what ei- 
ces, is admitting nothing more than that it is caused by im- tent infection 
pure air, and that this air can be carried in the hold of a 
vessel, or any similar mode, by which the air of one place is 
conveyed to another, or even through clothing, (in some spe- 
cial cases and to a very limited extent,) is not denied. 
"Where the above conditions are present in a sickly season or 
district, it sometimes requires but a slight addition for the 
development of the disease, and this is apparently furnished 
occasionally, by the arrival of cases, or vessels, or goods, 
85 " 

274 Report of Br. Edward H. Barton on the 

with the poisonous or infectious air ; hut it is not a result of 
secretory action, as all the contagions unquestionably are. 
This susceptibility of conveyance or transportability, exists, 
to a very limited extent, and only when the causes giving 
origin to the disease are more than usually malignant, 
and are only propagated in a kindred or congenial atmos- 
phere. These views have thousands of times been proved by 
our constant experience here for more than half a century , and 
such, I deem it, is the general result of the experience of 
the profession South, during that long period, with a very 
few exceptions, and those mostly of the last year. 

Infection is not a personal quality — it applies to vitiated 
infection not air from whatever cause proceeding. It is the product, not 
personal. the producer. It is the rem. How is it when we approach 
so near as to causation — to the thing — the principle — in any 
of the generally acknowledged contagious diseases? In 
small pox the smallest appreciable amount of secreted matter 
inserted into the body, at once and always produces the dis- 
ease, and all these contagions have & peculiar secretion as a 
product of the disease, which by its specific action on the sys- 
tem, re-produces itself and thus propagates the malady. Is 
that the case in yellow fever? All the secretions and products 
Yellow fever of the disease have been over and over again inoculated into 
not coma- susceptible bodies. Even black vomit itself has been tried 
gions. in every way, and all with impunity. They have been slept 

with, clothes used, all with the same result, and this would 
ever be the case, unless there should happen to be present 
an epidemic, or foul, or kindred atmosphere ! Without then, 
this localising condition,, the congenial materials, the disease 
does not spread. If it is nor contagious, and it has never 
been found apparently so in this country before then there are 
existing independent circumstances that account even for the 
ow appa- seem j n gjy contagious quality, and this proves the existence of 
f0,e *~the epidemic atmosphere or epidemic nuteoration, and the 
extensive prevalence of yellow fever out of its usual bounds 
is proof positive of the existence of that epidemic atmosphere, 
and its prevalence and limits are bounded by it. 
Such high authorities as Drs. Haygartn, Percival, Ferrier 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 275 

Carmichae! Smith, Carrie, Russell, Roberts, Arnott, Christison, 
and others in England, deny that exhalations from the living 
body are capable of permanent suspension in the atmosphere, 
or that they cr-n be conveyed, unchanged, through pure air to 
great distances. They regard it as established by an indubita- 
ble body of evidence, that the moment these exhalations come No exhalation 
in contact with the external atmosphere, they are diffused from human 
through it; that by such diffusion, their infectious properties are bod ies of per- 
destroved, and that, though when pent up in close unventilated manent 9US " 
rooms or filthy ships they may acquire some degree of perma- pensio " in the 
nence, much concentration and virulence, yet, when they once atmosphere - 
pass into the ocean of air, they disappear as a drop of rain in 
the ocean of water. These authorities, view the property thus 
possessed by air to neutralize and destroy these exhalations, as a 
provision of nature for our well-being. 

It was further observed that if the emanations thrown off 
from the living body formed permanent and powerful poisons, 

,.,.,. . , „ i . , i i , Consequences 

and it tins were capable ot being conveyed, unchanged, to great 

1 ,.,.,. f i on human in- 

distances, Ave should be able to live only in solitude; we could 

J tercourse, if 

not meet in society, for we should poison each other; the first 

., . r permanent. 

symptom of illness would be the signal for the abandonment of 
the sick, and we should be compelled by a due regard to self Forbid hu - 
preservation, to withhold from persons afflicted with disease, man inter " 
every degree of assistance that required personal attendance. course. 

But our physical is in harmony with our social constitution, 
and not in contradiction to it. The necessity of intercourse 
between all the members of the human family is one of the 
moral exigences of our race. The policy of encouraging, facil- 
itating and fostering that intercourse among all the nations of _. . , . 

° Physical in 

the earth is one of the impressive distinctions of our age. harmon with 
" But if it be true that plague and pestilence are capable of socjal consti _ 
being imported from country to country, carrying devastation tmion _ 
in their course, and that this calamity may be prevented and 
can only be prevented by placing periodical barriers between 
one nation and another, so as effectually to obstruct that inter- 
course, then there is a contradiction between the necessities and 
obligations of the human family, and the physical laws of their 
being* " 

* Report on Quarantine — General Board of Health. 

276 Report of Dr. Edward H. Barton on the 

It is as true in physic as in other sciences, that " there are 
more false facts than false theories,'''' and the alarm in the pub- 
lic mind, last year, was sufficient and did clothe this disease 
with qualities susceptible of explanation, much more satisfacto- 
Notwooppo "ry, of universal application, and in exact accordance with reason, 
sue facts "» sc i ence an( j philanthropy. There can be no two opposite facts 
in nature, although it may be very difficult sometimes to ascer- 
tain and establish the true one. Whenever this difficulty occurs 
we must apply to general principles for explanation, and have 
recourse to the ordinary and well known causes, circumstances, 
condition, and analogies, existing or applicable. 
Difference be- Another ground of error existed in confounding an epidemic 
twean an epi- with an endemic. The difference does not exist merely in a 
demic and an greater prevalence over a wider space of the former, but in a 
endemic. greater intensity of the materies morbi. An epidemic is a 
wide pervading disease, one of whose constituents being atmos- 
What is anP ne " c ' an ^ therefore diffusive, influences the type of prevailing 
epidemic. febrile maladies, and furnishes to them a uniformity of livery, 
and this will doubtless aid in the explanation why so many 
Creoles have been affected with a fever, having so many of the 
characteristics of the yellow fever last year, and especially with 
children, who are so much more susceptible to prevailing mala- 
dies than adults. During the existence of an endemic fever, 
this does not take place, although equally and similarly exposed. 
The very idea of transporting an epidemic, which is mainly 
atmospherical, from one country or locality to another, is an 
absurdity upon its face. The very statement of the proposition, 
is its own refutation with intelligent and thinking men. It is 
little less than arrogating an attribute of omnipotence. 

The important practical deduction resulting from this, is, that 
Practical de- an epidemic cannot be im-ported. The principle is very clear, 
duotioa. The facts are in exact accordance. Humboldt has long since 
shown, that, although yellow fever prevailed among the newly 
Proof from ar " ve< ^ wery year at Vera Cruz, it never prevailed epidemically 
Hnmboidt. tnere between 1776 and 1794, although the intercourse with 
Havana and other places, where the disease continued to pre- 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 277 

vail, was quite free. If a case of yellow fever proceeding from 
a locality where the epidemic prevails is conveyed to another, 
where it does not, it must terminate with the case, as has been 
eminently illustrated this last year, on the various marginal 
limits of the epidemic. This proof of epidemic influence is 
shown by pointing out these limits, and here it is known mainly 

i . .-, „. . , . , even appa- 

by its wanting those evidences of its existence which proved its 

. rently conta- 

presence in others. Professor Blodget's interesting communi- . ug bnt 
cation has shown, that the principal atmospherical constituents where ^ ep _ 
consisted in a high saturation, with elevated temperature. Now, idemic princi- 
in these places where this epidemic showed itself, and not having pie was pre- 
thc power of spreading, there is no evidence to show that these sent - 
existed, or only one existed. For instance, at Memphis, about As at Mem . 
two hundred miles above Napoleon, Arkansas, many cases, phis, 
(upwards of sixty,) were carried, but with the freest intercourse, 
public as well as private, the disease did not spread. The place 
was far from clean, but there is no proof either of high satura- 
tion or elevated temperature. 

At Bladon Springs, Ala., where the sick were taken in con- 
siderable numbers, and there existed the most unlimited commu- As at Bladen 
nication with all, yet it did not spread, and there was exhibited springs. 
no evidence of the two conditions required, or either of them. 

At Clinton, near Vicksburg, the same thing happened ; there At Clinton, 
was the most uninterrupted intercourse with ''infected spots," 
persons, and goods, but there was no evidence of an epidemic 
atmosphere, and consequently the disease did not spread. 

At Cahawba, Ala., about ten miles from Sehna, where itAtCahawba. 
prevailed in an eminent degree, and between which places there 
was constant uninterrupted intercourse, the disease, although 
freely brought there, did not spread, but terminated with the 
individual cases. There existed nothing unusual in the seasons. 

At Black River, Concordia Parish, many cases of yellow fe- AtBiackRiv- 
ver were carried, but it did not spread. Precisely the same oc- er, Pt. ciair, 
cm-red at Waterproof, Tensas Parish, where many cases were HoUy Wood, 
brought and terminated without extending the disease. A like and Gaiws- 
result was noted at Point Clair, at Holly Wood and at Gaines- ,fflB ' 

278 Report of Dr. Edward H. Barton on the 

ville, and many other places, including our watering places, until 
an advanced period of the season, when, from the occurrence 
of the precedingly mentioned conditions, the disease became 
Proof atTrin- At Trinity, La., a rather remarkable instance was furnished 
ity, La. of both conditions being required for effect, for saw-dust was used 
to fill up low places in the streets, and even the earth dug from a 
foundation for a warehouse, was spread upon the streets ; but 
there was no evidence of the existence of the other conlition, 
extreme heat, direct (radiation) or indirect, or proof of unusual 
moisture by hygrometric tests. On the contrary, no epidemic 
influence noted on the fruit, ''which were fine and healthy; 
musquetoes not so troublesome as usual ; mould less than com- 
mon," (proof of dry air;) no disease or fatality observed among 
animals." " Many cases of fever brought here, and ended 
without propagation, and no precaution used."* 
A t Porters- At Portersville, where several hundred people were assem- 
viiie.casesnotbled, and about one hundred and fifty in one inclosure, no cases 
extend. occurred, although five imported cases were brought in, nursed 
by different persons, and two died with black vomit. The dis- 
ease did not extend. f 

During the existence of the epidemic yellow fever at Rio, 
in Rio. many persons were carried to towns at some leagues di tance, 
Puerto Cabei- but in no case did it spread. The same thing occurred in the 
io. neighborhood of Puerto Cabello, and Guayaquil. The epidemic 

atmosphere did not extend to them, and consequently the other 
condition was wanting. 

This description of cases, circumstances, and results, could be 
indefinitely multiplied, not only this year, but every year of the 
existence of yellow fever, either here or in foreign countries. 

The explanation is so obvious, on the principles to be presently 
laid down in this Report, that it is scarcely necessary to antici- 
pate them here. One of *he conditions deemed essential 


for the existence of an epidemic disease is wanting ; either the 

tension. ■» o » 

terrene or meteorological. The cases above given, show that 

* From our intelligent commnnicant, Dr. Kilpatriok. t Dr. Moore. 


Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 279 

the epidemic atmosphere was not present, and the disease did 
not spread. Again, a sudden change in the weather occurs, the 
yellow fever is arrested ; multitudes of fresh unacclimated 
people (as we have often witnessed) rush into the city, and 
become exposed to the very foci where it was lately so malignant, 
yet not a case occurs. The meteorological condition is wanting. 
But, if the weather again becomes hot and moist, with high 
radiation, the disease is certain to become resuscitated. Again, 
the cause why cholera passes over one town or plantation and 
seizes on the next, is evidently owing, according to the most sat- 
isfactory experience in England, and what has been kn )wn to 
follow the disease here since 1832, in the difference in the ter- 
rene or localising conditions, (tilth, disturbance of soil, &c) 
and the atmospherical being, or not, in unison. 

It was also alleged that the fever of 1853 was different 
from any fever with which this city had been inflicted here- 
tofore, and therefore must have been "imported" from the 
West Indies, Rio Janeiro, Africa, " Nova Zembla," or God 
knows where. This has proceeded from a patriotic, but 
mistaken impulse, which is pretty universal, as well among Fever the 
savages, as those more civilized, viz : never to acknowledge sameasinfor- 
the paternity of a pestilence! Nevertheless, the sober mer years " 
dictates of truth, still more unyielding and inflexible than 
those feelings, compels the acknowledgement, painful as it 
is, that the late epidemic first commenced in this city. I 
have shown the folly of ascribing its origin to any foreign 
source, and that the appearance and symptoms of the fever, did 
not run precisely parallel with the yellow fever of every 
year, is just what might have been expected. No practical 
man will say he ever met with them, precisely similar in 
type and symptoms, at every point, in any series of consecu- 
tive years. There has been left some chasm in the similitude, 
some inequality in the morbid excitement. At one season, 
the head will be the more prominent point of attack, or 
onus of the disease ; at another, the stomach ; at another 
the spinal system, &c, &c., giving rise to different theories 

280 Report of Dr. Edward H. Barton on the 

as to the pathology of the disease, requiring a modification 
Each have f treatment ; now blood-letting, to a great extent, general 
t wr types. flg w ^ ag | oca j f as j n ^g epidemic of 1833, requiring only 
local in that of 1839, bearing neither in that of 1841; not 
admitting the general, and requiring much discrimination in 
the local detraction of blood, last year, (in my judgment,) 
and in all very little medicine. These peculiarities are 
probably produced by variations in the remote cause, and 
the different conditions of the individual. Such is just the 
experience in other American cities. I think it is less so in 
the West Indies, from the greater uniformity of climate and 
condition there. Such, too, is the result of the experience 
in other diseases. 

All epidemics, as all other diseases, must have a beginning, 

a starting point. That point will be in whatever part of a 

city or country, in which the localising causes shall exist in 

t crag an ^ e gj-g^ggj eX cess, (as will be hereafter pointed out.) This 

epidemic at-,. iin ,11 • • • * 1 • 

has been clearly demonstrated, by an examination into this 


., ,. subject in England, where it has been made evident that 

prevail, dis- ° 

ease only de- while an epidemic state of the atmosphere exists over the 
veioped where whole country, the disease will only be developed where there 
localising exists also, in more or less intensity, the localising conditions 
conditions of of filth, moisture, stagnant air, &c, (to constitute the perfect 
nith, &c. combination.) The result of the investigations of the Sani- 
tary Commission has, most strongly corroborated these 
valuable facts, and in almost ever}' place, which they were 
enabled to examine personally, the causes for the localization 
were made apparent enough, and will be mentioned here- 
after. Could this Commission have been enabled to carry 
out the examinations they intended, the public would have 
been put in possession of a still larger body of most valu- 
able facts, to form the basis of future legislation, in this most 
important sanitary movement. 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 2tfl 

Two agents essential to produce an epidemic — Atmospheric and 
Terrene — Climate 'what ? How far heat is productive of yel- 
low fever — Regular progress of from the South — Yellow fever 
zone — Limits of the epidemic, of 1853 — On what dependent- 
Geographical limits of fever — Humidity important element in 
climate — Quantity of rain not sufficient evidence of it — Error 
of Darby in relation to the dryness of this climate — Moisture 
essential to yelloio fever — The great causes of our moisture — 
Radiation — " Yelloio fever weather'''' — Radiation of different 
climates — Winds — Amount of moisture in each at New 

Having already shown proofs of the general fact of the exist- 
ence of the epidemic, of its influencing the animal and vegeta- 
ble kingdoms, of its extension by atmospheric and other condi- 
tions, and of the practical fact of the impossibility of its im- 
portation, I now proceed in more detail to specify, if not the 
precise elements of which it was composed, what will answer 
just as well for all practical purposes, the conditions necessary 
for its existence, and, fortunately for us, they can be measurably, 
if not entirely controlled. 

Pestilences have, even to this day, been considered one of the 
mysteries of nature ; and viewing a disease as an epidemic was 
deemed a sufficient answer to all inquiries in relation to its cause 
or nature. This does not satisfy the exactions of modern science 
any more than it does of the causes of tempests, storms, earth- 

i . . Ancient 

quakes, famine, and other instruments of destruction to man- . . 

x ' opinion of 

kind. As men were unacquainted with their causes or laws , pestilences , 

they were denominated " accidental," although, all intelligent 

men now know that there can be no such thing as " chance " in 

the government of the world, but that there must be causes 

and laws of action, if we could only find them out, which is 

both our duty and interest. In the following- pages Ave have 

J o r & Mnst be 

attempted to analyze the meteorological constituents, as far as nd 

our means extended ; and as it was clearly evident that these under i aw8 . 

alone were not sufficient, other causes were sought out, and it 

was soon clearly apparent, from the facts before us. from long- 

282 Report of Dr. Edward H. Barton on the 

experience, from analogy, and from the records of history, that 
filth, impurities of all kinds, disturbances of the soil, all com- 
bined in what I have denominated terrene, formed an essential 
and indispensable link in constituting a pestilential or epidemic 

Epidemics have been denominated the " shears of fate," the 
singular propriety of which I will demonstrate by interpreting 

"shears of ° L * _ _ 

, „ one blade to consist of the meteorological condition and the other 

the terrene, or local vitiations to give it life, impart intensity, 
and produce development. Both are indispensable for efficiency. 
Hence then, the very natural division into 

1st. Meteorological ; and 

2d. Terrene ; 
neither of which alone is competent to the production of 
yellow fever; the first is not a simple but compound condition, 
as we shall see hereafter. The second may be also. I do not 
propose to examine into it in this Report. 

It is the combination of these necessary ingredients that con- 

The danger is " ° 

in their c m- ^itutes the danger, that forms the poison and produces the ele- 
bination. ment of destruction. Let us consider these separately, analyze 
them, see what power we have over them, so as to prevent that 
union which is so fatal. 

First, of the meteorological : the meteorology of a city, dis- 
trict or country, may, without any great violence to truth, be 
, denominated the climate of that city, &c. Its climate deter- 

The meteorol- •' 7 

is the cii- mmes tne character of its diseases, from its influence on the 
mate of a great law of causation, and with reference to the great principle 
country. of prevention, that is, sanitary measures, it is almost equally 
important. The very idea of attempting to influence these 
without a knowledge of its great principles to pilot and to guide 
us, is but groping like the blind Cyclops in the dark. This 
is so well understood by every scientific as well as unscientific, 
man, that there is no description of any epidemic fever on 
record, of any note, in which there is not constant reference 
to the condition and changes of the weather as producing or 
influencing the disease. The testimony is overwhelming; in 

High temper- 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 283 

no postulate in medicine is there less dispute ; all practical men 
yield it their prompt credence. 

Temperature has been very properly supposed to have much to ' 
do in the production of yellow fever, and that the yellow fever zone 

tain duration 

proper, is restricted to limits where the temperature at midday, 
during the months of June and July is not less than 79°, and that 
the extent and malignancy of the disease is often in proportion to 
the extent in which it shall exceed that height where the other in pwiadei- 
causes concur in a similar degree. That has been applied to the phia. 
region as far North as Philadelphia very successfully, even during 
the last summer. It will not apply here with the same exactitude, 
because our temperature at midday is always above that point at 
that hour from the month of May to the month of September, Tem eratnre 
nor is the malignancy of the disease in the proportion that it preceding an 
shall exceed that height here. The average temperature at epidemic at 
midday of May and June preceding our epidemics has rarely New Orleans, 
been 81°88, and during the three epidemic months at the same and during k - 
period 83°75. The average temperature of the whole day for 
the three months has been 79°51. It rarely reaches as high a n pam " 
degree as 90° during the hottest parts of the day. M. Arejula, a 
Spanish physician and writer of eminence, says that under 23o 
Reaumur (82 Fahrenheit) it does not appear in Spain (I think.) 
In Rio de Janeiro it appears when the thermometer is at 77°. At Rio. 
It is not a disease requiring the highest temperature for its de- Above90de 
velopment ; iudeed, I conceive this (or above 90°) rather unfa- toohightofa . 
vorable to its origination. The accompaniment of great hu- vor its pro - 
midity being essential, and with precipitation the temperature dnction. 
at once falls. The average tropical temperature of 80° of con- 
siderable duration, with great humidity, is doubtless essential to not exist in 
its elimination here and South of us. In Africa and the East In- Africa and 
dies, a much higher temperature and higher combination may East indies, 
be the cause of its non-existence among them. So, on the con- 

° Temperature 

trary, a temperature above 80° is fatal to the plague! And reqnired for 
thus, also, a temperature from 30° to 50° develops (with other the P i agne . 
circumstances, as in the other instances) the typhus gravior. Be- Do. for typhus 
low this/ever does not occur at all. Such are the meteorolog* gravior. 

284 Report of Dr. Edward H. Barton on the 

ical limits of these great types of disease ; the distinguishing 
characteristics of different climates and distant countries ; the 
avenue through which one-sixth (it is computed) of those who 
annually fall victims to disease reach the shores of time. 

From these remarks on the influence of temperature in the 
production of yellow fever, it is not at all attempted to support 
an opinion, which, no one who has investigated the subject, 

alone not suf- . . 

. believes, that elevated temperature alone produces it, for were 

that the case, it would appear annually in regions far North of 
us, where it is for long lapses of time an entire stranger; for 
we know, that extremes of summer temperature, so far from 
declining in proportion to increase of latitude, is just the reverse 
(for a certain time) and that our extreme heat here, is rarely 
equal to what it is very far North of us. Temperature, then, 
is only one of the elementarv agents to aid in giving birth and 

commences > 

, , „ activity to our formidable foe. The same may be said in rela- 

regularly from J J 

South and ilon *° ** s decline or extinction. As it commences usually South 
proceeds reg- °f us, (in the West Indies, South America and Mexico,) on an 
niariy North, average (one year with another) at least two months in advance 
or about May, so it retires that much earlier, and being a fever 
whose ordinary duration is from sixty to ninety days, usually 
terminates, when with us, it is at its maximum intensity. The 
same principle will apply with more or less accuracy, to the 
regions North of us. Temperature then, although a certain 
range and duration, is absolutely necessary for its origin, is not 
indispensable (or has little to do) for its continuance, far South 
of us it becomes extinct while this high range continues — ceases 
here usually before frost, (the supposed great extinguisher,) or 
continues sometime after its occurrence, and particularly has 
this been the case last year and more especially in several parts 
of the Southwestern States. 

The farthest North the epidemic atmosphere extended the 

Limits of epi- i as t season has been at Napoleon, Arkansas, about 33° 50' North, 

dan* in 1MB. an d from Tampa in Florida, to Brownsville in Texas, in latitude 

25.50. The yellow fever zone, so often varying, now extends 

from Rio Janeiro to Charleston, and from Barbadoes to Vera 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 285 

Cruz. Commencing at Rio, in January, it proceeds after reach- 
ing its acme, gradually North, reaching the Northern coast of Period8 of its 
South America, in April and May, and the West Indies and appearance in 
Vera Cruz, in May and June, it arrives here usually the latter 


part ot July, and does not usually reach its Northern limit 
until some time in August and September. In this mere his- 
torical statement, of course, it is not intended to be implied 
that the yellow fever is imported from the South to the North, 
in this regular gradation, but merely that the physical changes 
inviting and producing its development becomes evolved as the 
season advances. 

Among these changes it is not intended to be understood 
that its prevalence is in proportion to the temperature existing; 
there are other circumstances that influence its production, 
among the most prominent of which, in the deadly combina- 
tion, is the presence of high saturation. This is amply and 
beautifully illustrated in Prof. Blodget's interesting communi- Another dw- 
cation in another page — where high temperature long existed pro° f ° f c<m- 
with entire salubrity, but as soon as great humidity was super- ta e ion - 
added, the fever was at once developed. It is difficult to say, 
why this two-fold combination should be essential, but in all 
climatural and endemic fevers, and this is essentially one, this 
double constituency is a sine qua non. This then is another 
proof that removes it from the category of contagious maladies, 
which are entirely independent of such contingencies. 

The zone, as now existing, is different from what it was for- 
merly, although the temperature is about the same, the local- 

,. . t , , p yellow fever 

ising conditions so much under the control ot samtarv measures, 

zone depends, 

have, no doubt, influenced it much. Climate (that is, its power mainI 
of affecting our race) is very much under the influence of cir- 
cumstances, heat, moisture, dryness, its main ingredients, can be 
much altered (as we shall see by-and-bye,) our mode of living 
also influences it. If then, we can influence healthy actions, I 
know no reason why morbid actions should not also be influ- 
enced. In fact, we know that they may be, for I myself have re- 
marked it, in the various changes this country has undergone, 

2 86 Report of Dr. Edward H. Barton on the 

during my long residence in it. It is as important as interesting 
to us, to know why the yellow fever should prevail in Brazil for 
the first time in 1 849-50. It has heretofore been the healthiest 
tropical city in the world, and now we hear of its first advent 
in Chili and Peru, (March, 1854,) and in Guayaquil in 1853; 
nor has cholera in all its destructive diffusiveness ever been 
known to have overstepped the equator. 

The limits within which yellow fever may occur spontaneously, 
(the yellow fever zone proper) is a subject of deep interest to 
us, and the more so, if this can be influenced, and averted as I 
believe it can, by the power of man. In the latter period of 
the last century, and the earlier decades of this, it was common, 
almost annually, in some cities, as far North as latitude 40°. 
The ground is now assumed, and will be hereafter supported in 
this report, that the immunity now enjoyed by them, has resulted 
What has from no change of climate, or in the constitution of the inhabi- 
changed it. t;nts, (technically considered,) but has arisen from the applica- 
tion and enforcement of sanitary laws and regulations. My own 
opinion has been long since given,* that yellow fever is gradually 
blending itself hers with the ordinary diseases of the climate and 
season. Even during last year, many cases (at least a dozen) in 
my own practice, during the raging of the epidemic, where the dis- 
tinction and unequivocal symptoms of yellow fever could not be 
mistaken, and where this exact type occurred in the same individ- 
Yeiiow fever uals in a former year, during the prevalence of yellow fever. The 
blending with bilious autumnal fevers of this country not unfrequently put 
the ordinary on t | ie yellow fever type (haemorrhage, yellowness, black vomit) 
16 when the causes productive of these are much concentrated, 

country. , . . . ...... 

that is, when the two conditions exist in a high degree ; the same 
Occurs in the occurs in the tierras calientes (the low level region) of Mexico 
marshy dis- an( j some f tbe rural districts of South America — as near 
tnctsof Mex- Guaya q U ^ an & m tue West Indias, as at Barbadoes, where they 

suffered nearly as much, as in the towns, and where the negroes 

Sooth Ameri- J . ' s 

, „. suffered, for the first time from it ; and epidemics of vellow 

ca, and West l 

indies. fever, occasionally sweep through those countries, as it has 

'Report to State Medical Society. 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 287 

through this, last year, showing most conclusively, that when 
the causes which give rise to yellow fever, exist in an exaggera- 
ted degree, an epidemic is the result, whether in town or coun- 
try, and that a sufficient amount can be accumulated to produce 
an endemic fever in a locality far removed from the ordinary yel- 
low fever region, we well know, from what has occurred at 
Gallipoli8, in Ohio, in 1796, and at Fort Smith, Arkansas, in 
1823, if not in Louisville, in 1822. 
These changes of the types of disease, is no more remarkable 

Precursors of 

than that different countries should be subject to different mala- 

the yellow fe- 

dies. For three or four years preceding the first occurrence ver Rio 
of an epidemic yellow fever in Rio, in the winter of 1849-50, 
there had been a gradual change in the types of fever of that 
country, with an occasional case of unequivocal yellow fever (as 
recognized by those who had been familiar with it,) until its 
final development into a disastrous epidemic. Coincident and 
cotemporaneous with this great change in the diseases of the 
country, were proofs " that the broad features of the climate of 
Brazil had altered strangely, old residents declaring that the 
seasons were no longer such as they remember them to have Simaltaneou , 
been,"* all acknowledged an unusual state of the atmosphere climatio 
existed, a remarkable absence of the usual thunder storms, changes, 
which were daily, at a certain hour, during the summer season, a 
prevalence of winds from an unusual quarter, (the Northeast) 
besides other unknown but acknowledged changes. These less 
tangible variations have not been noted, or observed, nor do we 
yet know of the presence there of a faithful notary of science, 
to record those important conditions that instrumental observa- 
tion can alone render valuable. 

Another impressive instance of the effects of climatic changes 
in the production of disease is furnished by Dr. Blair in his 
recent valuable work on the yellow fever of Demarara. Here, 
as in Brazil, it was noted that whenever the diseases varied or Diseases 
changed, they were usually preceded by some variation in the change with 
climatic condition. Thus in Demarara preceding the long tiie climate. 

*Dr. Pcnnell 

288 Report of Dr. Edward H. Barton on the 

continued epidemic beginning in 1837, it was noted and even 
the " planters observed that the climate had changed. The date 
Demarara. Q f tne commencemen t and termination of the two rainy seasons 
cannot now be ascertained or prognosticated with the same 
precision as formerly. Land winds prevail in the rainy season, 
during night and morning only," &c* Such, too, is the result 
of experience in all countries — such is reasonable where meteor- 
ology is well understood, and records are made; and every 
where, of the variations in the climatic condition ; there the 
results arising from them [disease) can be anticipated and if we 
shall be unable to prevent, provision will be made for them, and 
their influence modified and curtailed. 

Dr. Blair notices that "extreme seasons not only always 
modify the type of disease, but the effects of treatment ; during 
the depths of the rainy season, adynamic and congestive types 

and influences 111 • 1 

are prevalent and marked ; purgatives now do harm ; mercury 
too easily salivates ; thirst is diminished. There is increased 
action of the kidneys, there are local congestions, headaches, 
drowsiness, sopor coma, watery stools." These effects I have 
constantly noticed in this climate for many years. 

That the laws of vital action are influenced by meteorological 
conditions, surely we are not now to learn for the first time. 
Man learned it when he was first exposed to an inclement and 
variable sky, and has ever since used protectives against it. 
caIi The foes of our race, it is very true, are not confined to these, 

but in the hasty generalizations of later periods these have been 
almost entirely overlooked, and the morbific materials have been 
almost solely attributed to agents that allow a more extensive 
speculation, and that furnish the data for a more prurient imag 
ination. It is the duty of philosophy to curb this danger- 
ous propensity, to confine ourselves, as much as possible, within 
strict limits, and allow due justice to all 

From Guayaquil, lat. 2° 15' S., the Sanitary Commission 
has received the first recorded evidence known, of the yellow 
the equator. fever navin g appeared South of the Equator, (previous to 1849, 

*Dr. Blair. 

Vital laws in- 
fluenced b y 

First yellow 

Sanitary Condition of jVew Orleans. 289 

-50.) ]))■. Win, Jamison writes 12s, through the American 
Consul, of its having occurred there in 1 740, and again in 1842. And at nn - 
In the latter year it was fatal to twelve per cent, of the popula- nM,al height 
linn. At Augas, 3,028 feet a I of the sea, many pf3,Wfi feet ' 

si '1 on I uaya- 


<jinl, nnl m i: !ts. 

i - ■. i.-i >ml v ril ■- ufi from Puerto igli the 

United Si , im i( ..... l)o - « ""i 

curriug constantly in different parts of die interior of tiii-.' 1 '"" 1 " 1 * and 
country; lately, at Nutrias, nearly sixty per cent, oi the popula- 
tion died of it. Ah Arabia Valley, in Valencia, the 
capital of the province, situated nine ]< rom this pi 
manj popnlati iallv 

Laguayra, many 
al among the • mlation." 

In Barbi irly and palpably originating there d . in Barba- 

from focal can-::-, ii soon spread Island, and was doe*. 

just as bad in the rural d >wn.* 

Many instances were mentioned and will I in our 

record, of repetition or' attack, an I born 

here, (and no1 of cv> ■. and some that were, and srrown,) n , 

were very numerous, more so than haseverbeen noticed before, fltwi iw biea- 
even reaching the limits of adult life, a ead of yellow ding with u.e 

fever began to be brought home, and even experienced, by theordjnary fe- 
fully developed natives. This has 1 ributed, during the vc ™» not °>tor 

of the disease. May be the here ' but *■ 
opinion [ha 'e advanced is the true one, and I repeat, uharie «o». 

although in vivid recollection >nes of last y< ar, that the 

clear and unequivocal type is not so distinctly manifested in the 
mass \ : ( was twenty or thirty years ag >. A hope is 

entertained in Charl 1 the liability to attack of the 

i in proporti >n to this n tardation oi 
age, tfiere " exis . I e proof that our circum-: 

stances are und a nature calculated to sustain, 

the opinion, that yellow I gradually ceasing to be an .-n 

* From Dr. Sinclair, through the U. S, Cou-ul, to the Sanitary Coumji 
3 7 

290 Report of Dr. Edward II. Burton on the 

demic or climatic disease among us. " If this is true, I know 
no reason why it may not apply, also, here. The hypothesis 
is an interesting and important one. It is very certain, that 
the liability to attack a second or third time, or even oftener, 
occurred in Philad< 

and was the forerunner of among 

them ; whether as 1 ill not 

undertake to determine. I an 

This occurs 

u , , this was not the case with us ; come 

thro mans ' 

agency. rnore common, and that the fev 

indistinguishable from the ordina •' end 

If with hope of its departing 

from among u . noved 

ier South, then, I am very v ; but, I 

his change 
tted it 

by making the loc 

i 'itions 
i fever depends, (upon x . I dwell 

lafter,) and not upon any spon 
irring, wil 
• ■ not at a.l ino 

d the outbreak of y . .itions 

arc the pi 

i we come 

to s ; : i it can in a 

without • 

Without some considerable elevation of atmospheric 

Occurrence of temperature, periodical or autumnal fever does not occur 

lever depen- at ,,p_ When it occurs in cold and even in temperate 

dentontem- c ]i mateSj j t j s on ]y dining the hot went' wards the 

middle of summer; that a summer temperature of G0° is 

necessary fur the production of the di tnd that it will 

not prevail as an epidemic, where the temperature of the 

on falls below sixty-live degrees, and disappears on the 

Sanitary i of Xew Orleans. 291 

Dr. Drake, in his great work upoD 

lley, remarks that the Ite ee0Braph - 
r in this couu try, are East tlie ica m "°* 
Apalacian Mountains, below tlie 33d Q of North lat; ; 

Lend. Below that 
parallel i • , limit but the Atlantic Ocean. 

South the Cordillera and the Southern 

is, constitute its boundaries. I have found in 
the City of Mexico, (situated near eight thousand feet ab 
the le and intermittent fevers to con- 

stitute more than a sixth part of the annual mortality. In 

reat plains of our We 
untains. It. : 
unknown. ince of three hundr* from 

in bound »uri and L 

above South it does not 

prevail as an epidemic be 
to occur ; . . The actual tea i] 

great pai 
C, 1 >, T, and K. I trust is no room for skepth : 

production of fever, 
and thi is as much im hy- 

gromel i 

I : a 

high temperature, and is most influential in the production IIumi:lity af ~ 

i thibited in table H— showing the differenl fee * ll>!alth 
mortalities of the same people, in the healthy country of erc 


im, where the average annual ten 


I here, where it is upwards of 07°, with an 

■i 4;)°, :i, 

G^°, and with an 

less thai re where it is 

The mode of determining the amount of humidity is t h,- ,N amoimt!n 

, ■ , • i • ,i the atmoa- 

inost important, as il Jent point gamed m ttie 

. ji here recently 

cultivation of meteorology, and the study of climate lnflu- 

• L ;i B 

292 Report of Dr. Edward 11. Barton on the 

ences oh i ur race. Oue uv I g fad lias been cie* 

veloped, which uiay be consider me of the great 

value of this mode of inv r., viz: tinder the same 

temperature two sectii of country will enjoy a different 
climate and salubrity, from different hygrometric con' 1 thou*. 
( »ne will t a h gh sal nration, producing a relaxed 

vi al system, with energies more or less crippled, and <-x- 
treinely destructive to health and life. j ; where the 

hygrometer is lower, presenting a drier atmosphere, producing 
a greater elasticity of body and mind, with a pov 
endurance to ivhtch r is a stianger, and with a 

tinued enjoyment of i»ealth. In • 

timony is very ample. Humboldt mentions that "Cunaana 
is th and healthiest among the equinoctial 

towns of South America." tn various parts of our own coun- 
try, and even in this city, the fact of the coincidence of a 
"■rout d •" < ■ Irvness and health is abundantlv shown, and 
so ii is in \ ai ious parts of Africa and the VVest Indies, and it is 
uoi until /A'' ruins occur that fevers h 

Lei it be disti tctly unders that fevers do not 

Fevew not in prevail in proportion to the height of the dew point, or 
proportion to amount ot moisture aim i they do not prevail vitk- 

amonnt or out a high it — that is, that a large amount of moisture 

moisture, i.m ^ j f ] x ., [^gh degree of heat, is essential to the evolution or 
■ larfta pw- development of the high grades of fever. Our second con- 
tortion ai- ^jy^ j Q constitute "the shears" complete, is equally 

mired .... ■ .. A i ■ 1 i , • i 

required lor destructive effect. Moisture, no doubt, is the con- 
trolling sanitary condition at "II high temperatures. The 
tinction is very important. In a preceding section, on the "cos( 
of acclimation for different nativities," the different effects are 
Diflferem e f- beautifully and satisfactorily shown on the same people eiui- 
fl ' r, ~ '" ,lu " jrrating from a country of great humidity and low tempera- 

rniditj athigh ... ,, , i i» i ■ * o 1 • l . .■ i 

lure (Holland and HelgiumJ to one oi high saturation and 
elevated temperature, these important tacts were eminently 
! last year. With an extreme of temperature in 
of the Southwest, there continued general health 

Sanitary Condition of Nets Orleans. 293 

til humidity was added to it. Thus the devastation was 
treme. The invalui imony upbn this subject given by 

Professor Blodget, through the vast means, the net wtfrk of Proofi- 

ititic climatology which the Smithsonian Institute is 
spreading over our own county, in incalculable. The e> 
slv '* heats of Lower Texas, the Rio Grande valley, and other 
districts wh thermometer rises to 112°, 115°, have a 

temperature of evaporation not above thai of New Orleans, 
with the air a1 87°. Al Austin, Texas, with the air at 98°, 
several timee in June the temperature of evaporation never 
• 78°, and at the highest air temperature was at 
below the temperatur< 
evaporation al New York, • s a-ir thermometer did not 

exceed 95°, Tli are therefore endu- 

. and even pleasant, at a de -h would seem fatal 

to life, from th evaporating" power and elasticity of the 

atmosj uniformly prevails.* 

Aoris the qu rain that falls in a country the besl 

Quantity of 

ondition. A r soil, flal countrv, 

- a in not px- 

extensive marshes, and large bodies of water will furnish ihe. l( . t | } . ., vrrHtf 
facilities, with a high temperature, fo and dangerous of amount of 

humidity; wh cky, clayey, sandy or absorbent soil, and moisture. 

ble declivity, will rapidly accelerate with winds . 
drying qua oval of the rain that foils. Hence, the 

annual precipitation is not the best test of the humidity of a 

The, sickly season of nearly all countries, is the rainy 
season, and where there is an exception to it, it almost R ;li „, , eason 
surely exhibits a marshy, that is, a partially dried swamp, the sickly «*a- 
which is more favorable to the accumulation of moisture hi ««• 
the atmosphere than when entirely inundated. This is \ 
clearly exemplified by the occurrences at Tampion, in 183G. 
ains usually commence there in July, and are followed 
by intense heat. This is the period of the yellow fever. 

Letter from r to mo. 

294 Report of Dr. Edward 11. Barton on the 

In the above- e rainy season commenced 

months later than usual, and there was a corresponding 

delay in the appearance of the disease.* 

At Puerto Cabello, Dr. Lacomb states that " it is a 

ProofatPnet - constant and general rule that the place becomes entirely 

"Cabello. free ^^ disease> and ttie healthiest in the world when 

strong heat, combin total absence, of rain and dampness 

prevails, the atmosphere then being- entirely dry." On the 

contrary, " during the two last years, 1852-5:3, the weather 

was very hot, and very /lamp, with frequent small rains; 

during all this period yellow fever prevailed," 

1 n the Island of Bermuda, a proverbially healthy place, there 
has occurred d I summer, thatprecise combination 

Uo ' al Ber *of " unusually heavy rains, and scorching hot weather, with 
(mi anything like a breeze for days, and filth from an old 
stranded vessel now exposed," followed by a mortality of one 
in every 

Probably no condition is so eminently injurious to the 
at New or- saluDrit y of New Orleans, as this great humidity, not merely 
bans. of itself, but it furnishes the ;■ ' by solvency, 

combination, or otherwise, with temperature, for those in- 
fluences that are so destructive to health and life here. 
actual amount is shown in the I od I wish I had 

room to show »arison with other countries* ) Avery 

partial examination of these tables will clearly demonstrate, 
when contrasted with the monthly mortality, how destruc- 
tive t irated afmos- 

ature. Wi erhad 

(111 r: 

.,i which extends back upwards of thirl . I am aware 

Dame'. tttil'ely 

unsu merity has even 

e so far as to refer to years, to corroborate it. My meteorolog- 

, ■ 'il join rial for those uratedata. 

• La Roche, I Coinmur 

Sanitary Con* '295 

Two years have been specified, viz: 1837 and 1841, as 
being very dry, and at the same time epidemic, years. My Bnt reeorf,ed 
Meteorological Journal states for the first, that although for proof of its 
the whole year, the total amount of rain is small, yet there"" 
fell during the month of September, (the very month in 
which the mortality was more than double that of any other 
month,) //■ . U n g 

■ ■' Thai il during the preceding three 

months more than ten inches of rain, and that in October. 
which was the next most fatal month, there fell more than 
double the average of five preceding Octobers ! and that of 
tter, (or 1841,) more than 50 per cent, of rain fell that 
ye; -r, than the average of the preceding ten! So much then 
for facts and records, vs. memory and speculation ! 


to i1 that "for eiafht m< 


i in 

A me: 

tion by any records of precipi ices. It is 

not pi 


the State 


In Louisiana, we have t- Orleans 

Positive proof 

culminates in February and July, whi but little from 

of lta erro::e 
that I onsnesa. 

liciana, which in nating in 1833, 

had then - ber,) with 

an annual innual precipitation 

on R< - ; of PI a. 

ies, and in this city 
aifraction over52 inches. Fro . her extensive rao- 

eable soil and fiat country, Louisiana is unques- 
tionably note, and no doubt, has ever been the most humid State 

'206 Report of Dr. Edward JL Barton on the 

in North America. These circumstances give rise to our eon- 
stattl fogs that are so injurious to health. Were the swamps 
in our neighborhood drained, and forest growth removed, these 
would in a great measure sub ad their morbific influences 


We do Dot pi =av that the yellow fever is rife in 

amount of moisture existing in the air; but we 
do no1 doubl ■ rge amount of it is indispensable for it. 

WoiMnre in- i-i.ii 

When satisfactory scientilic investigations on this subject shall 

dispensable. • c 

be extended to all the places of its occurrence, even that amount 
may be determined. Whether i( is a mere vehicle for the poi- 
son, or prepares the system for its influence, or it is the combi- 
nation, a large amount is certainly required for the existe 
the disease. Hence then, th< »on the subject, 

neither alone being sufficient, but with both and a high temper- 
ature the disease is not often absent. 

Dr. Home made some exj>eriments to show the connection ot 
„ .. _. humidity and disease in a campaign in Flanders. He carefully 

rroot in r Ian- • •' 

dera> measured daily with the hygrometer the degree of moisture and 

dryness of the air, and upon comparing Jus tables with the regis- 
ter kept of the sick, he found that the progress of the disease 
pace, as far, he says, as anything of the kind can do with 
the humidity* of the air. The whole meteorological condi- 
tion has been kept by me here for many years, including the 
hygrometry, and it has always appeared to me that the , 
influence on the health of individuals, with its varying condi- 
tions, not only in yellow lever, but with large classes of disease, 
lias always keen clear and unequivocal. Its influence last year 
1 have shown to have beeu very conspicuous. The special 
details for the epidemic months are given in the tables, as taken 
five times daily, with the cotemporaneous mortality; the dates 
of the OOCUrrence of the disease would have been more e\aet, 
but could not I"' procured. 

It is supposed there is necessarily great moisture at sea, and 
that where there is a foul vessel much diseaa should exist in 

Lu Roche. 





JULY, 1853. LATITUDE, 31 







c $i 



) Altitude of Thermometer above the Earth ."> fret. 

> do. of Rain Guage, 15 feet 

) do of Barometer above the sea, lift 141 

ASPECT OF SKY.— Represents entire cloudiness, 

1 " a slight degree of clearness, and 
10, " which represents entire clearne 

so on, until 


WINDS —0 Signifying calm, 

1 a very gentle breeze, 

2 a srentle breeze, 

fresh breeze, 
strong wind, 
very do. do 

6 a violent storm. 






Totals, . .. 










A. M. 








. 8 


81704 84784 72621 


P. M. 







I 1 E R 

shade, at 


77 o 









f H 
































Aspect of jsky 









Total do 30.265 



N. E. 


Course and Force of Wind at 




S. 1 


w. 1 

s. w. 1 


S.W. 2 
S. W. 3 
N. W. 2 

s. w. 1 

s. w. 1 


S. W. 1 

N. 1 



N. 2.33 
S. 1.69 


A. M. 


S. 3 

S. 2 

W. 3 





s. w. 



N. W. 


s. sw. 


P. M. 

S. 2 

s. w. 1 

s. w. 1 

E. 1 








S. W. 3 


S. W. 4 

N. E.2 



S. W. 3 

N. W. 2 


N. W. 2 


S.W. 24=6 
N. E. 1.20 
S.W. 1.83 

S. 1 

E. 1 

S.AV. 1 
S. W. 2 





s. w. 


S.E. 6=14 
calm 26=64 
N.W. 6=14 

S.E. 1.00 


E. 1.60 

W. 1.33IN. W. 1.66 





Total Averages, 

Drying" power, 

Average do < 

Average temp, of Evaporation . 

Temperature of Evaporation & Dew Point 

lT sun rise. 







































72.1 :■; 

at y, p. m. 

n • 



























o o in to 1^ 
co o t+ i-» o 


In Sun. 


The record this month has heen kindly kept for me by Dr. N. B. Benedict. 

Much thunder and lightning during the month. 

Heavy rains, alternated with hot sun. Much damp weather 

Thunder and lightning noted particularly on the 5th, 12th, 13th, and 29tf, 





Average of daily range,. ... 


9 fAt Sun Rise, 3.81 

«! 9, A. M 2.43 

g ] Midday, 2.54 

*j l 9.P.M 6.80 

Average total, 4.14 








Dew Point. 






Degree of dryness 
on the Thermome- 
tric Scale. 


0. or sat. 5 ohs. 



Degree of Moisture 
on the Hygrometric 
Scale,1000 being sat. 

0. or sat. 5 obs. 

1ETER.— Rain. 




r. 3.20 p.m. ? 
i before day. ) 

1. 11.46 a.m. I 
1. 8.10 a.m. 5 

1. 9.43 a.m. ^ 

1. 11.05 a.m. ! 

1. 12.38 p.m. j 

1. 3.50 p.m. J 

10.32 a.m. 10.48 a.m. \ 
5.38 P.M. 6.00 p.m. £ 

Gentle Showers. \ 
.12 M. 12.30 p.m. <, 

.12.28 p.m. 12.32 p.m... 

12.23 p.m. 12.35 p.m. ) 
2.00 p.m. 3.30 p.m. } 
3.00 a.m. 3.30 a.m. S 






. .081 


3.15 A.M. 10. A.M. 


8.30 a.m. 11.20 a.m, 
3.02 p.m. 3.12 p.m 

3.15 p.m. 3.50 p.m 

2.52 p.m. 4.30 p.m. 

4.00 a.m. 5.45 a.m. 

22d .. 8.00 a.m. 8.30 a.m. 

25th.. 6.10p.m. 6.50p.m. 





5.25 a.m. 6.00 a.m. 
2.25 p.m. 4.00 p.m. 
7.00 p.m. 9.30 p.m. 

29th.. 3.15p.m. 4.48p.m. 
31st .. 1.35 p.m. 2.15 p.m. 
Total, L 


i 1.360 

. . . .680 
... .067 


From 1st 
to 8th, 


3x E 

^ < O fe» 

^ a &( o 


to 13th, 

to 22d, 


to 26th, 














lit' River 


High Water 


which is usually 

Fifteen Feet. 

4 feet on 2nd 

6 feet on 17th 

5.10 on 10th, 

6.6 on 24th 

7.6 on 31st 


In inches and fractions, 11.708 

No. of days on which Rain fell, 18 

" nights " " " 4 


No. of days blowing, 

Direction. Fora 

From the N. Of 2.33 

N. E. l| 1.20 

E. 1! 1.60 

S. E. 14 1.00 

S. 34 1.69 

S.W. 6 1.83 

W. 2} 1.33 

N.W. 14 1-66 

No. of days calm, 64 

Average total, 1.58 


At Sunrise. At Midday. 

At 9, P. M. 

















UieyaXx).Wi^a\9 cyWAJyW lato cnVaAi \)l\kms\\k 





Altitude of Thermometer above the Earth 5 feet 

do of Rain Guage, 15 feet 

l do of Barometer above the sea, lift J41 

ASPECT OF SKY —0 Represents entire cloudiness, 

1 " a slight degree of clearness, and so on, until 
10, " which represents entire clearness 

WINDS —0 Signifying calm, 

1 a very gentle breeze, 
a a gentle breeze, 

3 a fresh breeze 

4 a strong wind. 

5 a very do. do 

6 a violent storm. 









air, in shade, at 

Aspect of 


Course and Force of Wind at 


















A. JYI. 

P. M. 

P. M. 





P. M. 









A. M. 

P. M. 

P. M. 











...... ... 

.___ .. . 







W. 1 

S. W. 2 













w. 1 







W. 1 

N. 2 


















N. W. 3 











1 ! 


















: I 









E. 1 










































: 1 









N 1 


S. 1 









' I 
















1 I 







N. E. 2 

N. E. 2 

E. 3 









; 1 









E. 1 
















W. 1 







































NW. 1 




































N. W. 2 

W. 2 







































N. 1 

S. 2 


















N. 1 


















N. 1 

N. E. 1 



2 4 ! 















S. E. 1 

N. E.l 

N. E. 2 

S.E. 3 


















S. E. 1 

S. E. 1 

S. 1 


















E. 1 

















> f 


N. E. 2 



















N. E. 3 

E. 1 


E. 1 

















E. 3 

N. E. 3 



















E. 3 

E. 3 



>tals, ... 




.13 .( 











N. E. 3 

N. E. 2 


E. 2 












x. 9=24 




calm 17=4] > •: 










83.82 78.75 







S 3=0| 



N.W. 4=1 )a 



— 'In. 1.33 

H S. 1.33 

N. E. 2. 

s. w. 0.0 

|W. 1.20 

S.E. 1.50 \i 
N.W. 1.75 $| 


jtal do. . 








Total Averages 

Drying power, 

Average do 

Average temp, of Evaporation 

E E M A E K S . 

Much thunder and lightning throughout the month ; during the intervals 
of the heavy rains, a hurning sun, cold in shade; hot, damp, suffocating air ! 
more " calms " than ever observed before ; the average "force" of the wind very 
small, 1.33 by the scale. (8th,) Wind to-day occasionally from North. 

The gutters, where any stagnant water left twelve hours after a rain, had 
gas bubbling up from below, turbid, discolored. (12th,) Eains partial, in different 
parts of city. (20th,) Rain to-day, accompanied with sharp blow from East. 

Fogs in the neighborhood have been heavy every morning. The " clearness " 
of the sky, has greatly predominated during the "sunrise." and 9, P. M. obser- 
vation, over those of 9 and 3 o'clock. 






Average of daily range,. 


30.29, on 1st, 11,2 
30.04 on 17th, 


91 on 20th, 
72 on 17th, 

Dew Point. 

79.4 on 19th, 
53.2 on 31st, 

Degree of dryness 
on the Thermome- 
tric Scale. 

18.3 on 20th, 

0. or sat., 14 obs. 



Degree of Moisture 
on the Hygrometric 
Scale,! 000 being sat. 

0. or sat. 14 obs. 
.552 on 20th, 



o f At Sun Eise, 7.55 

g 3 ! 9, A. M 5.62 

3 ) Middav 3.45 



9, P. M. 

A verage of total, 6.34 


In inches and fractions, 7.016 

No. of davs on which Rain fell, 1 1 
_^ night s " " 


No. of days blowing, 


From the N. 

N. E. 
S. E. 

s. w. 
X. w. 

No. of days calm, 
Average total, - 











. 1.33 


At Sunrise. At Midday. At 9, P. M. Average. 

























Totals, . 








P. M. 


90556 90651 

90519 90577 

30.173[30.1 92 

















































flhs mwa v)a)U 


.ONGITUDE, 90°, 

~> Altitude of Thermometer above the Earth 5 feet. 

> do. of Kitin Gunge, 15 feet. 

S do of Barometer above the sea, lift 141 

xlSPECT OF SKY.— Represents entire cloudiness, 

1 " a slisht degree of clean 

^ 10, " which represents entin 



Aspec*t of Snt 









































Total do 30.191 



Course and Force of Wind at 



N.E. 2 

E. 2 


E. 1 

S.E. 2 

E. 1 

N.E. 2 

N.E. 2 

E. 1 

E. 1 


' E. 1 

N. 3 

N.E. 1 

N. 3 

N. 4 

N.E. 2 

N.E. 1 

E. 3 

N.E. 2 

N.E. 1 

N.E. 1 


N. 2.52 

A. M. 










SW. 0$ 

N.E. 2.05 
8. 0JS.W. 1.33 

E. 3 

N.E 3 

S.E. 3 

N. 4 

E. 2 

E. 2 

N.E. 3 

E. 2 

E. 2 

W. 1 

W. 1 

S.E. 2 



W. 1 


S.E. 2 


E. 2 

N.E. 3 

N. 3 

N. 3 

N.E. 3 

N.E. 2 


E. 3 

E. 3 



E. 3 

E. 12j 

w. n 

E. 1.56 
W. 1.28 


P. M. 

E. 2 
K. 3 
E. 1 
E. 1 
E. 1 
E. 1 
E. 1 
E. 2 

S.E. 1 

N. 3 

E. 1 

E. 2 

S.W. 2 

N.W. 2 

E. 1 

E. 2 

E. 2 

N.E. 1 
N. 3 
N. 3 
W. 1 
N. 1 
E. 1 
E. 1 
E. 1 
E. 1 
E. 1 

S.E. 2 J ) | 

calm, 3 )• g 

N.W. Q£ )a 

S.E. 1.66? i 
N.W. 2 5 1 




Total Averages, 

Drying power, 

Average do 

Average temp, of Evaporation, 

Temperature of 

C R O M E T E 


& Dew Point. 

















J> ° 5 




71. 8( 




























Avr. exposed . 
Avr. in shade 

or radiation 
























71.66 103. 














WINDS — Signifying calm, 

1 a very gentle breeze, 
2 a gentle breeze. 

3 a fresh breeze. 6 a violent storm. 

4 a strong wind. 

5 a verv do. do 








1921! 1508 


106.72 107.71 74.28 
80.94 79.9276.40 

25.78 27.97 2.12 






5. A.M. 8. A.M. 

10.30 A.M. 2.30 p.m. 

4.. 2.50 P.M. 3.45 p.m.. 

- < 5.30 A.M. — showers, 
\ 12.30 p.m. 12.50 

6.. Showers at 11 & 3.. 
.m. 4. P.M. 

A* ( 3.30 p.i 
\ Showers 

. .250 
I .025 
I .100 


I .150 

- .220 

I .080 

8 < In night 

( showers to 2 P.M. 

In night 

Showers to 1 P.M.... 

I , , S Showers to 12 M 

I do. to 5 P.M.... 

1 1 - - Occasional showers . 

12 < 12.30 p .31. 3.29 P.M. 
~ \ 4. P.M. — showers, 

13. . 4.5 P.3I. 4.55 p.m. 

Showers light in 


21.. 7. a.m. 9. 

20 J 


> .200 

\ .060 
5 .100 

| .680 

.. .100 

I .800 

.. .600 

I .050 

.. .130 


53 W 






© < 



2 s 


Height of River 


High Water 


which is usually 


Fifteen Feet. 

12 ft. 


12 ft. 8 in. 

12 ft 6 in. 

11 ft, 6 in. 


The occurrence of thunder and lightning continued afl long as the rains. 
The North winds, and cool dry weather, occurred soon after the middle of the 
month, greatly abating the epidemic. 






Average of daily range,. 


30.33 on 20th, 
30.02 on 9th, 


.05 80 


86 on 15th, 17th, 
00.22 on 22-'3d, 



Dew Point, 

78.3 on 8th, 
50.3 on 23d, 


Degree of dryness 
on the Theriiiome- 
tric Scale. 

20.7 on 23d, 

0. or sat,, 14 obs. 



Degree of Moisture 
on the Hygrometric 
Scale.1000 being gat. 

0. or sat. 14 obs. 
.502 on 23d. 



A.t Sun Rise, 5.70 

9, A. M 5.63 

Midday 3.93 

I 9, P. M 7.56 

A verage of total, 5.70 


In inches and fractions, 5.045 

No. of days on which Rain fell, 14 
" nights " " " 3 


No. of days blowing, 

Direction. Force. 

From the N. 4-j 2.82 

N.E. 5 2.05 

" E. 121 1.86 

S.E. 2| 1.66 

" S. 0. 

S.W. 0J 1.33 

" W. 1$ 1.28 

" N.W. 4 l 2.00 

No. of days calm, 3 

Average total, 1.62 
















Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 297 

warm weather. There is a great mistake upon this subject ; it 

is now well known that the main means to keep a vessel healthy 

at sea, is not merely to keep her clean but dry — by stoves, diy 

rubbing and other meaus. The evaporation from the sea has 

been greatly overrated. The calorific rays mostly pass beyond Error in ,up " 

the transparent surface and are lost below ; in proof that the P °' ms ereat 

, moisture at 

temperature ot the sea, when deep, is not influenced by the 
sun; but when we arrive "off soundings" the thermometer 
gives us the earliest warnings of it by its depression, the dew 
point is not as high far out at sea as near the shore, and but 
little dew falls; hence the little injury sustained from sleeping 
exposed to the air at sea. But when we approach a coast it is 
very different, and especially the estuaries and mouths of rivers, 
as I have ascertained by actual experiment. On the deadly 
coast of Africa, a few miles from land there is entire protection 

1 It is only so 

from the maladies of that sickly region, but near shore, and near ghore 
particularly near the mouths of the rivers, it is very moist and 
very sickly. That keen observer, Dr. Rush, attributed the dif- 
ference in salubrity of the two, to " a mixture of land and sea 
air." Our more accurate means of research, that science now 
furnishes in the hygrometer, enables us to explain it with more 

Of the direct effect of swampy districts upon the health, even 
of those accustomed to them, reference is most confidently-,- 

' 'Effect of 

made to the sanitary condition of the four Southwestern States swampy di9 _ 
as exhibited in sanitary maps prepared expressly to exhibit it, tricts on 
made from the returns to the census bureau for 1850, showing health, 
the condition of each one of the counties of those States by the 
author, and published in the 5th volume of the Transactions of 
the American Medical Association. 
The examination into the effect of the imperfect drainage of towns E ffec t r 
under the authority of the English Government, is still more direct drainage of 
and applicable to the subject under consideration. I quote briefly towns o a 
from various parts of these valuable reports, to show the influ- moisture and 
ence of it in the high latitude of 53 deg. How much more on health ' 
injurious must it be here. "When a street is whollv without 

298 Re-port, of Dr. Edward II, Barton on the 

drainage fever instantly breaks out in it." "Particular houses 
were pointed out, from which entire families were swept away, 
and from several of the streets fever is never absent." We find 
a very striking- account of a " fever constantly breaking out in a 
General Lying-in Hospital, clearly traced to the influence of 
above fifteen hundred yards of open ditches, full of the stagnant 
filth of the neighborhood, (like Gormley's and others,) and to the 
hacking up of the main drain of the premises, whereby the whole 
basement was flooded with every description of decomposingimpu- 
rities. On the removal of these nuisances, together with a new 
method of ventilation, the fever disappeared. Another instance is 
given of a "village in a slight hollow, and badly drained, with a 
wide, stagnant ditch passing through it." " Here the deaths 
by epidemic disease were thrice as many as in a village in the 
neighborhood, and the scarlet fever was so malignant as to be 
fatal in a few hours." Sometimes, in the best ventilated squares, 
"the neighborhood of the cess pools, and a number of untrapped 
openings produce the most malignant fevers." Liverpool, which 
is situated in one of the best natural sites, is the most unhealthy 
city in England, because a large number of her population live 
and sleep under ground, and she has thousands of houses and 
hundreds of courts without a single drain of any description. 
" A table is given of districts in Leicester, being divided into 
three classes; first, culverted ; second, partly culverted; third, 
not culverted. The proportion of persons dying of epidemic 
diseases are, in the first one-twelfth, and in the second only one- 
eighth of those who died in the third ! " In some of the towns 
the description would fail to convey any conception, says a tal- 
ented physician, of the disgusting- and poisonous condition, and 
he exclaims "can such a state of things exist in a country which 
has made, any progress in civilization '. " Vet, such a description 
would well apply to many pans of this city during the last 

It is a matter of record that the intermittent fever in the rear 
of this city has greatly increased since the exposure of the swamp 
in that neighborhood, probably twenty to one of what it was 



Localization of Cases of epidemic yellow fever, occurring during the 
year 1853, in the several Districts and Wards of the city of New 
Orleans, (according to their division in 1850,) in ratios proportioned to 
the population of each. 


2 | 3 • 


5 1 


7 J 8 

J Districts 



~ s: ~ 

5 « B 


§ c - Estimate 
<=>. o oi of the 




naber ot 

How 1-Y\ 



.2 ° 1 

■° a a. 

2E > l 

5 <« « 
•3 » 

7 1 - = 
o o c 

•s &~3 

Proportion of 

to the 
Whole Population 

\\ A.RDS. 

H ° 

ZZ * 




K o o 

in each Dtstpi<-t 

1st District. 


1st Ward,.. 







2nd do. . . 







3rd do. .. 







41 h do. .. 







5th do. . . 







6th do. .. 







7th do. .. 














13.55 pr. cent. 

2nd District. 

1 st Ward, . . 







2nd do. . . 







3rd do. . . 






4 th do. . . 





638 .086 

5 th do. - - 





1.058 -123 

6th do. .. 





509 -038 

7th do. .. 












26.17 pr. cent, 

3rd District. 

1st Ward,.. 







2nd do. .. 







3rd do. -. 







4th do. . . 









2 . 409 





24. pr. cent. 

•1 tli District. 

1st Ward,-- 







2nd do. . . 







3rd do. 



. 409 




4th do. - - 







5th do. . . 














12.05 pr. cent. 

Grand Total,. . 







Sanitary Condition of N&W Orleans. 299 

The amount of moisture depends upon the dissolving power 
of temperature ; the question is then, not exactly what that 
amount is, so far as mere saturation is concerned, for the effect 
of saturation at different temperatures is very different, (as 
shown how comparatively innocent it is in the cool, moist 
climates of London and Holland, compared with intertropical 

1 r pendent on 

regions, with their elevated temperature,) but it is the influ- tem p erature 
ence of the combination at this high temperature, and to such 
an extent as to cooperate with allthepowers co-existing, that 
are more or less incompatible with health, and especially, 
with those unaccustomed to or unacclimated to them. 

Of the fact of a high degree of moisture in an elevated tem- 
perature, being injurious to health, we trust the above evidences 
r » — © j > How great 

are sufficiently satisfactory. The explanation, ov modus ope- 
randi may be more difficult. That it relaxes and prostrates acta# 
the system is a matter of common experience ; that it prevents 
the elimination of effete and worn out excretions, that it debili- 
tates, by excess of action, the healthy functions of the skin and 
lungs, every one will acknowledge who has experienced it — 
diminishing the decarbonizing power of the atmosphere which 
is always lessened as the temperature is high, air expanded and 
saturated with humidity. When the hygrometry changes to a 
dry air a sensation of elasticity is at once experienced; when it 
becomes high, languor and prostration has to be endured ; that 
our health is influenced in a corresponding degree, is fortunate- 
ly, now fully established. High temperature may produce the 
physical susceptibility — moisture may be the medium of agents 
from our second condition, and when they are all in excess, the 
malignancy of the disease, will be proportionate. Such has 
been the precise condition of things here last summer. 

That there is dew point peculiar to each of the higher classes The dew 
of fever (in their aggravated or epidemic grade,) is doubtless point limits of 
true from what we know of the temperatures essential to their yellow fever " 
existence, and how greatly they are all injured by humidity. 
The dew point of yellow fever is from 70 to 80, it rarely exists pu c »e. 
long, when it 19 under 60°. The plague has probably a dew 

300 Report of Dr. Edward 1£. Barton on the 

Typhn* gra- pomt of j qo legs rp^e typ ] lus g rav ; r at from 35° to 45°; and the c o- c h i era m -^lils climate, varies from 48 and sometimes much less 
to 74, and is probably less controlled by its fall than yellow fever. 
The sources of this great excess of humidity are mainly the 
Sources oi it swamps, lagoons, lakes around us and which are also the principle 
here. causes of our fogs, imperfect drainage and want of pavements. 

Radiation, * as a source of disease, has not heretofore, as 
I am aware, attracted the attention of professional men ; 
yet, no observant practical man who has passed through 
Radiation as many epidemic yellow fever seasons, could have failed to 
a cause of dis- notice, the peculiar weather that usually exists during the 
ease now first c ] ear (j a y S of those seasons. In fact, old experienced men 
noticed. Qut Q £ ^ Q p ro f ess i on nave lj Cen m the habit of denominating it 
" yellow fever weather," without analysing the conditions which 
constituted it. It is characterized by being very hot in the sun 
and cool in the shade at the same time — on one side of the 
street a broiling temperature, and on the other so cool as to 
urge to buttoning up the coat. This uncomfortable alterna- 
tion of chilliness and heat, is productive not only of uncomforta- 
ble feelings, but when exaggerated, passes into disease — consti- 
tutes the first stage of yellow fever. It may be here only the 
' YeUow fever exciting cause, developing dormant disease, front the predisposi- 
tion being already present. The difference of the temperatures 

scribed. , n , , . , , 

between sun and shade, is at these times, very great, and essen- 
tially constitutes, with other circumstances, a sickly season. 
My attention has been called to it for many years, and it has 
been carefully noted by me not only here, but in other countries. 
I have not remarked it to influence materially other diseases, be- 
yond the class of fevers, except coup de sol/'cl, of which doubtless 
it is the principal cause. During last year it occurred unusually 
early, in January, and furnished one of the grounds of the pre- 
diction of the great epidemic. This principle is illustrated in the 
accompanying Chart No. 2, and Tables D, E, N, 0, to which 
reference is invited. A more thorough proof could be made 

* Solar radiation, derived from the difference between the temperatures of the eun 
and shade. 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 301 

by a comparative exhibit of other years. It is too minute for 
this paper, but the opinion expressed is fully borne out. The 
unusual amount of solar radiation last summer, has been fully 
proved in several parts of the yellow fever region. It has been 
particularly noticed at St. John Baptist, by Dr. Delery of this Shown else ~ 
city, where he remarked that " the planters found the sun's where ' at St * 
rays so intense, that they were compelled to use umbrellas for J ° hn Bapdst ' 
the first time as a protection against it," the yellow fever pre- 
vailed here very extensively. It was also noticed at Hollywood 
and at Gainesville* 

At Gainesville, Mr. Fulsotn had found the heat in the sun 
so great that he frequently rode under a tree, to avoid its 
intolerable influence, and for fear of taking a chill, he was AtGainesvaia 
presently compelled to quit the shade ! The same facts 
were observable at Hollywood, and in Wilkinson county, 
in the unusual and uncomfortable difference between the At Hoiiy- 
temperatures of sun and shade. Dr. Benedict observed the wood, 
same thing in New Orleans, as early as July, when " in 
riding in a gig in the streets, with the top up, it was found In New ^ 
so cold as to compel him to lower it, to procure the warm- Iean9 , 
ing influence of the suns rays. This was soon found so 
scorching as to induce him again to put the top up ! and 
this was several times alternated from the great difference 
in the extremes of each.t 

These remarkable conditions would doubtless have been 
recorded at other places, had the attention of observers 
been called to them. It is probably the " fiery something," 
to which yellow fever has been formerly attributed by those ProbabIy ^ 
distinguished and experienced observers, Drs. Chalmers and «<fi ery some- 
Lining, of Charleston. The profession may be assured thing" of 
that it plays a much more important part in influencing the Chalmers and 
production of morbid action, than is yet known. Its precise LininB - 
modus operandi I forbear to speculate on. Is it by decom- 
posing ozone, the great purifying principle ? The direct 
causes of the varying radiations of different climates, 

* Sec testimony, t Refer to Dr. Benedict's interesting paper. 

Terrestrial ra- 

302 Report of Dr. Edward II. Barton on the 

elevations and periods of the day, are quite obscure. In 
experimenting on this subject, I have often noticed a varia- 
tion of from 5 to 10° occur in a few minutes, (from 5 to 20,) 
without any apparent difference in the clearness or transpa- 
rency of the atmosphere or change, of the winds.* 

Terrestrial radiation (or that proceeding from bodies on 
the earth,) is the true interpretation of the danger of expo- 
sure to the night air. This exists in excess in sickly climates 
and seasons. It constitutes what is so much admired in 
the dangerous, but " beautiful blue sky of Italy," the air 
so clear and transparent, (upward radiation,) rapidly cools 
the body, chills it, and often preludes the first stage of 
fever. It is as tempting as hazardous in hot weather. An 
umbrella, portico, tree, musqueto net, any object intervening 
Where the De t ween the body and clear sky, protects one from it. In 
the thickly built parts of cities, this radiation is very small. 

ger of night 

The best radiators are cotton, silk, wool, (rotatively,) and 
consequently we are least protected by clothing made of 
those materials, in the order mentioned. We thus interpret 
the alledged injurious effects of sleeping exposed to the 
direct influence of the moon. It is always greatest on 
bright and brilliant nights. 

For the proper appreciation of the chart and tables, it 
may not be out of place to state, not only that this is not 
increase of merely a most unusual amount of radiation for this climate, 
but that the popular estimate upon the subject is a gross 
error, so far as it supposes that the intensity of direct solar 
heat increases as we approach the equator ; in fact, it is just 
the reverse ! Baron Humboldt found "the difference between 
the temperature in the sun and shade at Cumana, one of the 
hottest, driest, and healthiest in the lower regions of equinoctial 
America, never exceeded 6° 6', sometimes not more than l°or 
2°. Captain Sabine found the maximum at Sierra Leone 18°; 
at Bahia, on the coast of Brazil, 9?. I have rarely seen it exceed 
20° in Cuba or Vera Cruz, and have often remarked how sel- 

* The reason why persons insulated, or confined to the house, are rarely subject 
/ yollow fever, may be that they are not exposed to solar radiatbn. 

proportion to 
increase of 


Influence of 
elevation up- 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 303 

dom umbrellas are used in tropical countries, and how rare it is 
to have many trees immediately around their houses to protect 
them from " the ardors of a tropical sun /" There are some 
grounds for the belief that it either increases with elevation, 
or we become more sensible of it, from diminished pressure 
of the atmosphere, for such seems to be the case on ascend- 
ing mountains. De Saussure states it as the result of his 
experience on his ascent of the Alps, and it was of mine in 
Mexico ; so dangerous is it esteemed in the elevated regions 
of Mexico that the natives always carefully protect the 
loins of their horses ( their weakest part) with an extra 
covering of skin, when in use, and often their heads. In 
Jamaica, while on a level with the sea, the difference between 
two thei'mometers, (or radiation, the one in the sun and the 
other in the shade ) was at the maximum 12° ; on the moun- 
tains it was nearly double. In England, it is usually found 
about 50°, and sometimes as high as 69°; while it has been 
found at Mellville Island, latitude 65° North, 55° in March, 
and sometimes as high as 90° ! Captain Scoresby, in lat- 
itude 80? 19, found it as high as 80°. Sir John Richardson, IUugtrations 
in his late expedition to the Arctic climate, found the power 
of the direct rays of the sun so great, in a cloudless sky, that 
he had to " take shelter in the water while the crews were 
engaged on the portages!" and Captain Scoresby found that 
the pitch in the seams on the side of his vessel, occasionally 
becomes jluid, ( which it never did on the coast of Africa ), a 
temperature of almost 130°, while ice teas rapidly generated 
on the other, in the shade ! 

Let us apply these remarks, for a moment, to the economy 
of nature, and see if we cannot draw some illustrations in 
proof of the correctness of the statement. It is thus that we 
can account for the productions of the rapid Springs in proofs, in its 
the Northern climates, where vegetation leaps, as it were, at influence on 
once into being, while, if otherwise, its productions would tne vegetable 
not have time to mature and ripen for the sustenance f klngdom - 
man. The cereal crops are known to be so much dependant 

304 Report of Dr. Edward II. Barton on the 

upon its amount, that it has become a matter even of calcu- 
lation in England, and it is so well known that without the 
direct rays of the sun (whatever may be the temperature of 
the air) that fruits seldom come to perfection. So great is 
this radiation in England, that many tropical plants cannot 
bear the direct rays of tlie sun there, and require protection 
in order to reach maturity! That the indirect (or shade) 
temperature is not solely dependant upon the direct, is proved 
from the fact that they reach their culminating point almost 
always at different periods, and the exceptions here are 
during the occurrence of epidemics ! In non-epidemic years 
the highest point is probably in May. So, in England, it 
occurs about two months in advance of their highest temper- 

These views, now so well established among scientific 
men, in their influence on the vegetable, and even the animal 
kingdom, extends beyond their bearing, on our profession, but 
I forbear its introduction, tempting as it is. 

Should I not have been entirely successful in establishing 
the connection of radiation as one of the efficient agents in 
the production of yellow fever, I have, at least, pointed out 
Radiation a new field for philosophical investigation, that has hitherto 
worthy of fai- egca p e( j t ^ Q scru tiny of pathological induction. It is cer- 
tainly shown to be within the laws of the dynamic forces, 
and highly worthy the notice of the etiological inquirer. 

Pardon is asked for this digression from a subject as novel 
as it is interesting and important. It is clearly apparent that 
it is entitled to more thorough investigation than it has yet 
received. What is due to each climate is not known. I have 
long since requested the Smithsonian Institution to add it to 
the requirements from its meteorological correspondents, 
throughout the country. It would not depart far from the 
rules of probability to say that whatever influences the phy- 
siology of the vegetable and animal creation must also influ- 
ence their diseases. In this climate, I do not consider ten 
years of observation sufficient to determine what is the nor- 

moisture in 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 305 

mal amount, but believe that beyond 30° or 40° maxima, is 
productive of injurious influences. 

Winds. — All experience has shown that free ventilation 
and strong, unimpeded currents of wind are inimical to the 
elimination and concentration of malarial exhalations, conse- influence of 
quently, to the production of fever; that where the winds »>»*. 
blow strongly and freely, and find no obstacle from surround- 
ing ohjects, or intervening forests, localities which otherwise, 
might be expected to be fruitful sources of fever, may be 
visited or inhabited with impunity, while similar places be- 
come insalubrious, if the air is stagnant * Calms, says Dr. 
Drake, permit the exhalations from foul localities to accu- 
mulate in the atmosphere, which rests over them, but all 
winds operate to disperse and dilute them with purer air. 

By reference Jo the table P and Q, it will be seen that on 
an average of years our most prevalent winds during the A 
summer are the East, South, SVV. and SE., and by referring 
to the table of the hygrometry of the winds here, (or the 
amount of moisture each of these conveys wilh them, table P,) 
it will be found that these are the very winds which are usu- 
ally loaded with the largest quantity. That table also shows 
that when the air becomes calm (or stagnant) it becomes still 
nearer the point of saturation. During the worst period of Direction 
our epidemic the most frequent wind was from the East. 
That is a pretty constant feature, not only in our epidemics, 
but most others. Still more remarkable was the frequency 
and long duration of onr calms, with all their injurious satu- 
rations and depression of the vital principle. 

Nearly all land winds are unpleasant, if not deleterious to 
health, in most climates, producing a sensation of chilliness and 
discomfort far beyond their mere thermal influence. It is the 
"simoon," of most countries; in Havana and Georgetown, Unwllole - 
Demarara, it is a South wind ; here, and in Texas, where it is some nature 
felt so severely, it is a North wind. These winds produce a of,andwind * 
rapid evaporation from the surface of the body, causing extreme ' 
dryness, while the sun is unclouded and hot, (during the warm 
months,) and is excedingly uncomfortable. Fevers of a bad 

* La Roche. 


m summer. 

406 Report of Dr. Edward II. Barton on the 

character are then known to prevail. It was upon this ground, 
mainly, that I have advanced the opinion of the protective influ- 
ence of Lake Pontchartrain. 

No one can doubt that there is a great system of balances in 
the natural, as in the moral world. In the animal and vegeta- 
ble kingdoms a great predominance of either, is unfavorable to 
the other; where thev are equalised, health results. Great 

balances. , , , 

heat and moisture promotes an excess in vegetable life. It is 
injurious to man. All excess tends to disease, while moderate 
changes are conducive to health, " all natures' difference, is all 
natures' peace." This has been often remarked in hot and other 
climates. During the late epidemic yellow fever, at Bermuda, 
it was remarked that "an extraordinary state of atmosphere 
prevails here now, very favorable to vegetable life, but dangerous 
to animal life and health." 

We think sufficient has been said to show in what this epi- 
demic consisted. We would not be understood to mean, that 
the exact amount of heat, moisture and decomposed materials, 
were ascertained to have produced it, and that there were no 
other materials than those we have enumerated. For the more 
exact application and showing of these influences, the meteoro- 
logical journal of the three epidemic months is annexed, in 
detail, as noted four or five times daily, made up during the 
intervals of the exacting demand for our time during that labori- 
ous period, ( the month of July was kindly kept for me by my 
friend, Dr. Benedict, and the balance by myself.) Every record 
was made that was in our power, conscious as we felt, that Ave 
were in the midst of the most important, and therefore, the 
most interesting, pathological year, that ever occurred in 
America, and that we should be held responsible, by the scientific 
p00gy ' part of the profession, and the public, to make every observa- 

recordsimper- . ,11 ■, ■ „ . , 

tion that could have any bearing or influence upon it, and 
therefore our, future; and have essayed to make a faithful 
statement of that gloomy period. How it will apply or aid us 
in influencing that future, time alone can tell. No such exact 
or extensive record is known to us as haying been made before 


Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 30*7 

Avith which to compare it. But we trust many such, and better, 

will be ramie hereafter, should it be the misfortune of this, or 

any part of our country, to be afflicted with a similar calamity. 

The exact amount of the meteorological and terrene causes 

. i /• i . ,, ,. . i • i-i Exactamonnt 

to produce lever, and especially, a malignant epidemic yellow 
fever, is not known ; it may be hereafter. A distinguished . , , 

J ° rials for an ep- 

authority informs us that "since the beginning of the world, idemic not 
the temperature and humidity of the atmosphere have, per- known, 
haps, not been twice in identically the same circumstances 
for eight conscutive days."* 

However this maybe, and as duration is an important element 
in everything relating to health, there is no doubt of the fact that Dur 
all the agents productive of yellow fever, whether climatural or qnired for dis . 
terrene, are in the nature of things more or less fluctuating. ea se to hade- 
So is the physiological condition of the individual; but Iveioped. 
have as little doubt that it is an approximative duration around 
a very narrow circle that is required to produce the impression 
resulting in a yellow fever season ; that is, that an elevated 
temperature, high saturation, excessive radiation, with terrene 
causes in large amount, shall coincidently exist, although they 
may slightly fluctuate, for a period, which, according to my 
observation, to overcome the physiological or vital resistance, 
shall be rarely less than about two or three weeks, depend- 
ent upon the susceptibility of the individuals exposed. It is 
under such circumstances that yellow fever rarely fails to 
follow. During my long residence in this climate I have 
rarely seen such a prolonged continuance (the above duration) 
of identical weather, if in excess, whether of heat or cold, 
dryness or moisture, but was productive of disease of some 
kind. Variable weather and seasons are usually healthy, 
though this is opposed to popular belief. Such is the play of 
the organism, and such are the variations required to give it tone 
and impart to it vigor. Professor Schoubein has given many 
reasons for the belief that fever arises from a deficiency of 

Ar«go and 8cbubler. 

308 Report of Dr. Edward II. Barton on the 

ozone. No experiments were made to test it here. If ozone 
is developed, as is alleged, by the approach of two clouds of 
different electricities, that often takes place during the exist- 
ence of our yellow fever epidemics, with, as before remarked, 
injurious effects, its evolvement may be at too great an eleva- 
tion above our immediate atmosphere to benefit us. If we 
possessed the certain power of foretelling, long beforehand, 
and ahcays, the advent of a great epidemic, thousands of lives 
would be saved. I do not know that we could do as much 
by filling the atmosphere with ozone, which would be very 

foresight and COSt ^'* ^ wl ' lter m one °f lrie prints during the summer ad- 
remedies, vises its being " drowned out," which I thought highly plau- 
sible, if possible, the Mississippi river at such periods having 
usually descended so low as, if introduced, could only influ- 
ence the low back streets. But the cheapest, best and most 
rational mode, after all, will be found in the practical applica- 
tion of the means of prevention, by the introduction of those 
sanitary measures that experience, fully tested, has shown to 
have saved other communities from pestilence, and restored 
them to salubrity. They will be fully detailed hereafter.* 

In this early application of meteorology to disease, I ask 
the indulgence of the profession for the paucity of my 
No truths vai- records. Enough has been given to show that the connection 
ueiess. is most intimate between them, sufficient to assure us of vast 

hidden truths, far beyond our present means of investigation; 
these truths are of value to science and humanity ; indeed, 
there are no useless or disconnected truths in the great labo- 

* Tables C, D, E contain the daily meteorological and mortuary condition during 
the three epidemic months. 1 would gladly add the whole year of both were the 
Intter practicable, for the gratification of scientific men, to show how much climatic 
conditions influence our weather, and especially, during this remarkable year. 

In interpreting the connection of meteorology with mortality, two circumstances 
are to be taken into consideration : first, the amount of vital resistance to be over 
come previous to the attack, (for it cannot be at once,) and second, the period to 
before resulting in death. These, as yet, are indeterminate and irregular pe- 
riods, dependent upon individual susceptibility and constitutional power. The second 
is easier estimated than the first, tor tin- average duration of the disease is from 
three to live days. We sometimes find in the advanced period of the season that 
a sudden great tall in temperature produces a frightful mortality, cutting offall who 

are very aids, unless carefully protected; and here a little foresight or a coming 
change can often be put to most valuable use. In this case it is almost equally apt 
to prevent the further continuance of the disease, provided the change is apermanent 



Hygrometry of Each of the Principal Winds at New Orleans, and 

when calm. 





[Saturation being 1000.] 


hi grains. 












5 136 



10 .06 












10 .03 












10 .01 












9 .28 












8 .84 












8 .21 












7 .56 












5 .17 










■W- #• — To my scientific readers I observe that some few small errors in the above could only 
have been ascertained when the results were arrived at — but at too late a period to re-caleulat» 
sixty pages of figures. 

Statement of the Winds in New Orleans — by Months and Seasons. 

4 i- 

4 i 










1 4 

2 4 





4 \ 

3 4 
2 4 

4 4 

1 \ 

4 4 

5 j ai 










'? 4 





6 4 


l 4 

2 4 






Being on an average of 11 











years— 1835-'42 and '48-'50. 











































4 4 









Autumn . 
Winter. . 
Spring . . 
Autumn . 














12.4 18. 



3d I2d 15th 









1st 13d 



9.4| 6. 

20.4 8-4 

15.4 14. 

7.41 34 













Total number of days" 
wind each season. 




9th 1 













Relative frequ'ey of each 
wind during each season. 


|3d 5th list |4th |2d |6th |8th 17th |9th I Relative frequ'ey of each 
|49. 40. |66. 4140. 4|52.4| 32. 4|23.4| 27.4| 12. 4| wind durins the year. 


On " Radiation Chart " — opposite, — for " Radiation of the Sun" 
read Radiation. 

I1AUT ^illmti-atit^AeMuemeofm i LMandTESSESTtM J RADlATIOJ«»?flfMOISTlIRE in the production o/TEIXOF FEVER wIEFOllLEASS 

I> lit I \(. 1853 


ril Inr l In Report of tlic Sanitary Commiss 



Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 309 

ratory of nature ; if they are hidden from us to-day, their ap- 
plication may be made by our successors to-morrow. We can 
no longer plead ignorance of their practical bearing and im- 
portance ; but, we are, as yet, upon the mere shores of meteor- 
ological science, "picking up the few pebbles" of truth that 
have been yielded to perseverance and industry, while the 
boundless ocean lies open before us, for exploration and dis- 



Proposition — The Upturning of the Original Soil, together 
with Filth of all Kinds — The sine qua non of all our Epi- 
demics — Proofs as far back as Sixty Years, to the Present 
Period — How first noticed by me — Causes of Epidemics at 
Natchez, Memphis, St. Francisville, Mobile, Selma, Algiers, 
etc., &c. — For an Endemic less necessary — For Bilious and 
Periodic Fevers still less, but all the same ! — Why Yellow 
Fever does not always extend — We Know as much of the 
Origin of Yellow Fever as we do of any other Fever — All 
Countries have their Peculiar Diseases — Parallel of Yellow 
Fever and Plague — Extension of the Epidemic due to late 
Inundations in Part — At what Stage, Swamps most Danger- 
ous — Proofs from Foreign Countries and here — Different 
Stages of Draining Produce Different Diseases — How and 
When to Drain Land, &c. 

Our other constituent to produce the yellow fever epidemic, 
the other blade of the " shears," is the terrene. This is very 
comprehensive, and embraces all foul, filthy, organic matter 
passing through its decomposition, whether terrene, miasm, 
malaria, or what not. Every thing terrene that is injurious to fi 
health may be so denominated. I wish to be distinctly under- 
stood here, that neither meteorological nor terrene causes alone, 
is sufficient to produce the effects alluded to, and hence the 
great difficulty and stumbling block, when one of these is 

310 Report of Dr. Edward H. Barton on the 

found present, even in an aggravated degree, and not the other, 
and the effects do not ensue.* 

Epidemic yellow fever then depends upon two circumstances : 
first, a meteorological, and secondly a terrene cause. The pre- 
cise amount, or constituents, of which each of these consists in 
their original or proximate elements, the present state of science 
has not yet informed us of. Of the first, I have shown the 
main ingredients ; of the second, it is probably composed of 
From whence all decomposed or decomposable matter. The varieties of fever, 
varieties ofmost probably, depend upon variable amounts of these constitu- 
fever. ents, influenced by the physiological condition of the individual, 

which only slightly varies the extreme force of the causes pro- 
ducing an epidemic. I have expressed the opinion that an epi- 
demic yellow fever proceeds from a. general distemperature of the 
air with local influences, and particularly with an undue disturb- 
ance of the original soil. I shall show presently that an endemic 
yellow fever depends upon a more local distemperature, with 
the same local influences, but in a minor degree, and that the 
type or malignancy depends upon the more or less extent of 
these causes, and finally, that bilious or periodic fevers depend 
for their existence upon the same causes, but in a much dimin- 
ished degree. 

In examining into the cause or origin of our epidemic yel- 
low fevers, there is no reason why we should not apply the 
To apply the same principles, as in initiating the cause or origin of other 
same princi- fevers, or other diseases. If we cannot say that we have the 
pies in exam- ver y precise and exact meteorological data, or the precise 
iningimo the amouu t of decomposable matter, we are just as near the truth 
causes ot yei- as we are fa l Q0 Jd n g i n f the causation of any other disease. 
lowfeverasof Overpowered by the magnitude of the disease, and bending 
other fever*, before the authority of great names, we suffer ourselves to be 
blinded to the plainest tacts. It is considered by some, as an 
aol of temerity or folly, to dare to think of preventing it; that 

*This, it seems to me, will explain most of the difficulties that have srr them by 
tiir ears in ( IharleBton, in relation to the occurrenccee oi last year, and why they did 
not have ill,- fever there, " the meteorological cause " was said to be present, the other 
u,r. nol t th< m'' of the Mayor did not consist "in removing the two 

thai occurred, but in his praiseworthy energy in keeping the city thoroughly 
clean, in preventing the concurrence of the second, and equally essential cause, 
(now i iiiiii.) it is a great pity some more Southern eities had not 

been blessed with a little of that wholesome ■ Jackson" energy, and common sense 
of duty, instead ol being contented in boasting of the existence of "cleanliness" 
and "health!" 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 311 

such ordinary tilings as heat, moisture, filth, and such like 
trifles, however combined, could give rise to this great monarch 
of disease, (y. f.) is but playing with human credulity ! They 
forget, all the while, that a sudden change of temperature 
alone, has often deprived human beings of life, in a few hours; 
that vitiated air has, still oftener, killed in much less time, and 
that nearly all disease to which man is subject, is caused by 
conditions not widely different, or so minute as to defy the 
utmost power of detection. It is time to put aside and be done 
with all this stultifying and misleading mystery and awe, and 
boldly facing, and defying, all carping misgivings, push our 
scrutinies as far into the causes as our facts and reasonings will 
legitimately carry us. 

Proposition 1st; now, if we can prove that the epidemic ut propwi- 
yellow fever has never occurred here but in a certain condi- tion. 
tion of things in so long a period as sixty years, that it has 
always occurred here when this condition was present, and that 
it has occurred in at least three other places under similar con- 
ditions, so far as can be ascertained, of between twenty and 
thirty years each — then there is a, fair presumption, if not more 
that we have arrived at one source of its causation. 

Proposition 2d ; if we can prove that our ordinary exdemic 
yellow fever, occurs here and elsewhere, under certain contm- 2dd °- 
gencies of a high temperature, for a certain time, with a com- 
bination of much moisture and filth, that these are never known Canse of »« 
to be absent when it does occur, that it has occurred under cir w^enuM- 
cumstances, where no foreign origin could possibly be imputed 
to it, that if there should be apparent exceptions, viz : that it 
does not always occur where these are all apparently present, is 
it not fair to presume this to happen, rather from some defect in 
our observations, (and we well know how imperfectly and under 
what prejudices and defective knowledge these are often made) 
than from any deficiency in the constituents themselves, or than 
an occult cause ? Can we not then, with all reasonable pre- 
sumption infer, that the above are really the causes of yellow 
fever ? If we prove that when these are removed, that it does 
not occur, is there not another proof of the sufficiency of the 
cause, especially for all practical purposes ? And is it not at 
war with one of the first rules of philosophising to hunt up 

312 Report of Dr. Edward II. Barton on the 

extraneous causes, to account for that of whose origin we have 
3,1 do - sufficient proof ? and the 3d proposition is, that these causes ex- 

ause o our i s tiag in a less degree, will produce bilious and periodic fevers. 
With regard to the first proposition, I wish to be understood 
distinctly as stating, that since 1796-'7 to the present time there 
has been no great epidemic yellow fever in this city, without an 
extensive breaking up — disturbance and exposure of the origi- 
of the first na i so n f the country ; that this has consisted in digging canals 
proposition. an( j ^ag^g or cleaning them out, either in the city or its imme- 
diate neighborhood, digging and excavating the streets of the 
city for the purpose of laying down gas and water pipes, and 
relaying the streets — digging and embanking for railroads and 
Proof. similar purposes, in the summer season, and relyingly — refer to 

the Chart A, for full and conclusive proof thereof; and that the 
extent and malignancy of the disease, has been pretty much in 
proportion to the extent of these exposures. 

The first epidemic yellow fever that is recorded here, is that 

Succinct on- simultaneous with excavating the earth, in digging the Canal 

gin of an onr Carondelet, and more especially its basin in 1797. I am in- 

epidemics. formed by a highly intelligent and observing Creole gentleman, 

that the fevers during the period of digging this canal were 

Of 1797. ° l ° & ° 

awful in its neighborhood, even with Creoles ; — and that last 
year the sickness in the vicinity of the excavation of its new 
basin was very extensive, although there were few but natives 
and acclimated exposed to it. 

The next most extensive yellow fever epidemic occurred du- 
rino- the cleaning out the same canal in 1811. Then we have 


the next severe epidemics of 18]7-'19-'22, simultaneous with 

1817. l 

18191 extensive exposures in the streets for pavements — large fillings 

1822. U P nn( l enclosures of the batture, and the cleaning out and 

deepening the same canal. 

Then follows the great mortality of the epidemics of 1832-3, 
the largest we have ever had in this country, resulting from the 
immense exposures of the swampy soil in digging the Bank 
Canal from the city to the lake. Then follows the epidemic 
fever of 1837, resulting from digging the extensive trenches 
and 1837. aU( j cana i s> to drain the rear of the First and Second Districts 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 313 

The next largst mortality, and which has continued ever since, 

arose from the large new canals and clearing and exposure of the w * 6 "' 48, 

soil, between the two Canals, in rear of these districts, without 

regard to season, and the immense excavation of two acres of 

ground and with the removal of upwards of 336,000 cubic feet 

of earth for the foundation of the new Custom-House, in the 

heart of the city — beginning the latter part of October, 1848, 1848 "'^ 

and ending in the succeeding August, during which period we &c, > and Ito 

had a severe epidemic of cholera with a mortality of upwards conseqnence8 ' 

of 3,600, and during the balance of the year of 243 — with a loss 

by yellow fever of 769. During the succeeding year (1850,) 

the mortality from cholera was 1,448, and in '51 of 645, and 

in '52 of 1,326, with the addition of 597 deaths from yellow 

fever during these three years, for effect of all which refer to 

chart A. 

And, finally, which has contributed so much to produce the 
great calamity of last year (and on which mainly I founded my The specia 
prediction of the fever in the preceding May)* was the exten- 

i • • 1 epidemic of 

sive exposures of the earth in making a new basin tor the same 
canal (Carondelet) — clearing out the canal — dredging the Bank 
Canal — extensive exposures of the earth in deepening the 
ditches between Conti and Common streets, and also in the rear 
of the third district, the digging and exposure for the erection 
of a levee between the two canals on Lake Pontchartrain — the 
large excavations on miles of streets in the centre and front of 
the city — for laying down gas and water pipes and making and 
relaying pavements — as exhibited in black lines on the Sanita- 
ry map — the extensive exposures for laying the foundation of 

* See published " transactions '■ (of Hint date, page 10) "of the New Orleans Acad- 
emy of Sciences," for the details of this prediction 

Is it any more unreasonable for us to predict the occurrence of disease, occurring 
under precedent well known conditions, than that nearly all inferior creation should 
have the power of foretelling future event? that are essential to their safety The 
instincts of the spider — the tree frog — birds so announce to them, hours and days 
beforehand, a coming change in weather ; the Beaver — the Bee, <fcc , have the pow- 
er of foreseeing months beforehand, floods, droughts or other inclemencies of the 
weather, that would otherwise be absolutely fatal to their existence. Surely, this 
can only be derived through meteorology proceeding from a sensitiveness or means, 
far beyond what we at present possess If a greater difficulty is experienced with 
us, the cause may be found, besides in that of the imperfection of our meteorological 
in? truments — that disease is the result of a ttCO-fold condition — a meteorological, and 
local or personal one, and lhat, as yet, observation of the influence of thiscombina- 
i on on the human body is too limited for general knowledge With more industry 
\n collecting and recording facts, the time may not be distant when succees shall 
'more frequently crown cur efforts. 

314 Report of Dr. Edward H. Barton on the 

new buildings (especially on Front street,) and the excavations 
and exposures for railroad purposes in the rear of the first and 
fourth districts and at Algiers. Here then -we have a combina- 
tion of materials of exposure of the original soil unprecedented 
in our annals, probably excepting that of 1832,* which was 
more concentrated, and the consequences have been correspon- 
dency destructive, in combination with meteorological condi- 
tions (before expressed) in proof of which this mortality con- 
tinued large as long as this exposure continued, no doubt 
influencing the two epidemics of 1833, of cholera and yellow 
fever, and causing the large mortality of the two succeeding 
years (see Chart A,) and every large mortality since. 

The first proposition then, is believed to be fully sustained. 
Cholera and decking u P on the epidemics of cholera and yellow fever as the 
yellow fever highest of the zymotic class, (of what is called malarial disease.) 
highest grades requiring for their existence a great accumulation and concen- 
of zymotic tration of their respective causes; the one being a disease of 

diseases. L ° 

the cool, and the other of the hot months ; and believing that 

■ xposure o an ex tensive exposure of fresh earth, when conjoined with filth, 

crowding, &c, with the meteorological causes which in the 

heat and .... 

union of high temperature and great humidity have been always 

moisture » ± o j 

worst combi- P resen t> form the worst combination, the occurrence of these 
nation. diseases during the period referred to are fully accounted for, 

and amply affirm the correctness of our first proposition. 
These curious and remarkable developments occurred to me 

How they . .... . . . ... 

in the course ot my statistical investigations and scrutinies into 

were first _ 

. , the causes of the mortality of this city, in which I have felt a 

made known. •> J ' 

deep interest for very many years. After constructing the upper 
part of chart A, the immense discrej>ancy in the mortality of 
the several years immediately attracted my attention, and as 
there could be no effect in the physical world, without an ade- 
quate corresponding cause, and as it so much exceeded that of 

w it h o u t an 

the rural districts around us, all the changes in the physical 

adequate & r J 

cause condition of the city and neighborhood were carefully investi- 

gated and placed to their proper date, under the mortality of 
•The greatest mortality was by Asiatic cholera that year. 


1000 of its Population for each lear sW/ether with the causes influencbig or producing it, from 1187 I with a few exceptions) to is.)4 . 
llliiNlriiliiiii the Report on the Sanitary Condition of Ne* Orle 

i.v E.lfl. BARTON. AJ1.M.I>. 

i,\ri..v\ \i id \ 

M.,„il,l,l Mortality at a , 

:i,l,, l,„l„lM .1,, 

j'UOPOKTIOXAL R ATIOS ..I MORTALITY p orwith 1000 of the I'OI'I I.ATIO.N in eai Ii .MO.X'I II of Hie YKAli lor iipwnrdu of TIIIHTV VI. Alts. 

Sanitary Condition of New Orleans. 315 

each year respectively. The subject became interesting as I pro- 
ceeded ; its valuable bearing soon became apparent; a clue was 
evidently found to the causes of our fatal epidemics ; and finally, 
it was clearly demonstrated by the facts collected and exhibited on 
the -chart — in the language of the proposition — that "there has 
been no great epidemic yellow fever in this city, without an 
extensive <listurbance of the original soil of the country," and 
this, I think, has been fully prove